Klemmer’s unlikely training partners ahead of Kangaroos duty
DAVID Klemmer says he's not worried about his fitness ahead of the Kangaroos' Tests in New Zealand later this month.
The Bulldogs' season, of course, wrapped up at the end of the regular rounds, so Klemmer hasn't played a game of footy in over a month.
But while most of his clubmates are taking the opportunity to holiday, the big-bopper has revealed he's been working hard to stay in shape ahead of Australia's hotly-anticipated clashes with New Zealand and Tonga.
"After a week of not doing anything, you've really got to start doing stuff. Especially if you know there's going to be footy played at the back end of the year," he told foxsports.com.au last week.
"Obviously I had a week away from footy with the family and ate some stuff and drank a couple of beers but I knew I had to come back and start training the last two weeks.
"I feel good, the body feels good. I'm ready to go.
"I've been looking after myself and I'm excited to get back into camp."
When asked if he's enlisted the support of Bulldogs staff to help put him through his paces, he smiled.
"No, I just do it myself. I take the kids down to the park and have a run around," he continued.
"I enjoy it too mate, I don't want to go into camps feeling crap.
"I want to feel good and feeling good helps you feel comfortable around there. You're not worried about your weight and your fitness."
The Kangaroos will be relying heavily on Klemmer to blunt the fearsome forward packs of the Kiwis and Mata Ma'a sides.
At just 24 years of age, he's already one of the more experienced members of a new-look Australian squad, having played 15 Tests since 2014.
But his leadership will be particularly crucial in the middle third, with Cameron Smith retiring from representative duties earlier this year.
Apart from his long-time bash brother Aaron Woods (who has also racked up 15 appearances in the green and gold), the next nearest are Josh McGuire and Jordan McLean, who've both played six Tests for the Kangaroos.
"Across the park with the forwards we've got there I think we're pretty experienced," he said.
"Everyone's played in big games and knows how to win footy games at that level.
"There's going to be young blokes in there which is exciting. You get to play with these players you don't play with week in, week out."
One match-up sure to excite fans is Klemmer up against his former Kangaroos and NSW Blues teammate Andrew Fifita.
The Sharks enforcer defected to Tonga for last year's World Cup only months after teaming up with Klemmer in the front-row for the Anzac Test.
The two countries avoided each other in the World Cup, so this will be the first time Fifita will line up against the country of his birth.
Klemmer said he can't wait to take on this star-studded Tongan side.
"They're the games you want to play in. To see what they did in that World Cup, the crowd they got there, just red everywhere, and the support they got was just unbelievable," he said.
"So I want to be a part of that and to play against them. They're a big side and they've got some quality players so they're the teams you want to play against.
"I love versing Andrew too. With me and him it's always a good battle, he's a fantastic player.
"But right across the park they've got some good players. So, we'll have to go into camp and prepare well, and get ready for a big game because we know they're going to come out firing."