2 days ago
New Zealand Warriors rugby league management have warned Mark Tookey to shed weight or be fined.
The prop was warned at a recent meeting with coach Daniel Anderson and chief executive Mick Watson that his weight and skinfold levels were too high.
Tookey, 26, has conditions in his contract that stipulate what levels he must be at to avoid a fine.
It is understood his weight is 119kg when the maximum allowed is 115kg.
"The ball's back in my court now. My skinfolds just haven't come down. I haven't been doing enough fat-burning training by the look of it," Tookey said today.
Watson confirmed Tookey had been put on notice and should have plenty of reason to trim down.
"His motivation should be the third State of Origin and beyond. He's in the frame and not far off (selection)," Watson said of the big Queenslander.
"He's a pretty good athlete, hard to put a shot on, so hopefully he'll get everything under control again."
Tookey started at prop against South Sydney last weekend and produced a couple of trademark barrelling charges early in the contest and again when the Warriors mounted their 24-point revival.
He made a dozen hit ups for 127m gained as well as pulling off a respectable 20 tackles.
While Anderson concedes Tookey's girth is an issue he is not the only club member with concerns.
"He's got work to do but everyone has got things to work on either technical or off field. As a coach I've got to keep up with technical and tactical stuff."
Tookey is back on the bench on Saturday for the match against North Queensland in Townsville, making way for Kiwis prop Jerry Seuseu, who is refreshed after enjoying a two-week spell.
North Queensland coach Graham Murray has recalled hooker Paul Dezolt and wing Brenton Bowen to first grade to cover for injured duo Leigh McWilliams and Neil Sweeney.
Dezolt, who played only two first grade games before losing out to McWilliams, will face abrasive Warriors captain Monty Betham, who makes his second appearance at hooker this season in place of the injured PJ Marsh.
"He's been one of our best players in reserve grade," Murray said.
"If we cast our minds back to the Melbourne game (late April) I think he had a pretty good game on short notice and Paul's got a bit more time to get ready for the Warriors. " The injection of Bowen, a cousin of fullback Matthew Bowen, will give the Cowboys a pacy back three in conjunction with Ty Williams.
"He combines pretty well with his cousin so we'll give him another shot," Murray said.
The Cowboys' medical room has resembled a casualty ward this season and the club suffered another setback this week when former Queensland prop John Buttigieg was ruled out with a knee injury.