Rookie Dragon confirms staggering 300kg gym feat
FOR much of this week, St George Illawarra rookie Tristan Sailor has been linked to a whisper that sounds impossible.
Specifically, that he can squat 300kg.
Which has to be a lie, right?
Especially when you consider Manly enforcer Marty Taupau, long considered rugby league's strongest man, he has a maximum squat of 200kg.
Kapow, too, is built like a Game of Thrones extra.
Yet Sailor, he weighs just 85kg.
Which is why since Tuesday, when Dragons No.7 Ben Hunt was quoted saying his teammate "squatted something like 300 the other day", well, social media has melted as fans argue over whether said figure is kilos, pounds or complete fabrication.
So with the son of cult Kangaroo Wendell Sailor in Perth for the NRL Nines, News Corp cornered him to ask exactly how much hot air existed in what would be the heaviest NRL squat lift every recorded.
"Yeah, I can squat 300kg," Sailor said simply, and without a hint of arrogance.
"But it's for a box squat.
"I'm not sure if it's just a Dragons thing, but we only do box squats here to protect our backs.
"I haven't done a regular squat since I was in SG Ball."
At which point, the ASADA testers reading this will undoubtedly re-holster their little plastic cups.
Understanding that unlike a regulation squat, the box squat is easier to perform, given the lifter, as the name suggests, only drops to a box, or bench, placed behind them.
"So it's definitely a lot easier than a normal squat," Sailor said. "You only go down 90 degrees, plus can bounce back up off the box too."
Yet while not exactly the Lou Ferrigno-type lift it first seemed, Sailor's box squat still sits among the Dragons' top three - Korbin Sims is best, with 310kg - and ranks him, pound for pound, among the most impressive gym lifters in the game.
Indeed, when asked where he would land on a regulation squat, Sailor insisted he could put himself "up around the 200kg mark".
Which is undeniably impressive, although still short of the mark held by the NRL squat king, Parramatta's Maika Sivo.
As revealed by The Daily Telegraph last year, Sivo maxed out at a squat of 285kg Asked if he could have pushed for the magic 300kg mark, the Fijian flyer replied: "The bar I was using, there was no more room on it."
After making his NRL debut for the Dragons last year, Sailor has proved something of a 2020 SuperCoach favourite, with plenty tipping him for a first grade wing spot.
However, the Illawarra junior revealed he has actually spent much of the preseason training at five-eighth with the club's NSW Cup side, which is where he expects to start this year.
As a result, Jordan Pereira will likely start on one wing for the Dragons, with Mikaele Ravalawa and Jason Saab to fight out for the other spot.
Asked about training in the No.6 role, Sailor said: "I've really enjoyed it, being more on the ball.
"I've also trained a couple of times on the wing (with the NRL squad) - moved around through a few positions - but I think, first up, I'll be playing in the halves in reserves.
"And I'm fine with biding my time.
"For now, it's about training hard to make sure I remain right on the cusp of selection.
"Then when I do get my opportunity in the NRL, I want to stay there."