As the GIANTS’ preparations for the 2014 season kick into gear, they have turned to a new form of training.

GIANTS players had their first session with two-time Australian Wrestling Champion Larry Papadopoulos at the Ultimate Indoor Sports Centre in Silverwater today.

Papadopoulos has worked with several Rugby League clubs, including a four-year stint as Parramatta Eels’  tackling coach.

He spent this year working with the Sydney Roosters, who took out the 2013 NRL Premiership, and were widely considered to have the best defence in the code.

The GIANTS players were taken through a tough 30-minute session that introduced them to the wrestling components of ‘hit, stick, wrestle’.

“The main thing is we’re just trying to improve their ability to tackle and tackle more effectively,” Papadopoulos said.

“The benefits of that is obviously more effective tackling and trying to reduce injuries.

“It’s not so much learning things from wrestling but taking things wrestlers do well and applying them to AFL.”

The GIANTS will have weekly sessions with Papadopoulos throughout the pre-season as the players prepare for a big 2014.