Darcy Wilson has taken out this year’s three-kilometre time trial in just his second week at the club, spearheading a young top-five who performed strongly at the full squad’s first official day of pre-season.

Wilson formed part of the pack who led the run at RSEA Park from start-to-finish, but had more than enough in the tank to accelerate away on the final straight at impressive pace and ahead of podium finishers Marcus Windhager and Mattaes Phillipou.

Wilson, Windhager and Phillipou all crossed the line within seconds of each other, while consistent time trial performers Ryan Byrnes and Matthew Allison rounding out the top-five shortly after.

Twenty-seven Saints took part in the full three kilometre-run, with Tom Campbell, Isaac Keeler and Angus McLennan taking part in a concurrent two-kilometre trial.

Sandringham train-on player Tarkyn O’Leary also posted a commendable time, which would have equated to a second-placed finish when put against the Saints' runners.

“Today’s time trial had some very impressive results across the board, headlined by a number of our younger playres who dominated the top-five results,” Executive General Manager of Football David Misson said.

Taking our running game to another level has been a key focus of ours heading into 2024, with today’s times validating that we are taking steps in the right direction to do so.

- Executive General Manager of Football David Misson

“To have several young players post strong times, and on grass as opposed to the artificial athletics track surface of previous seasons, is particularly commendable and we’re excited to see how our pre-season progresses.

“Although there were a number of Saints who didn’t take part in today’s run due to a variety of reasons, we’re confident majority of our list will be in a position to resume full training in the new year without delay.”

Jack Steele, Mitch Owens, Zak Jones, Brad Crouch, Dan Butler, Bradley Hill, Mason WoodJack HayesAnthony Caminiti and Max King were among the Saints not to take part in this morning’s time trial, with majority either facing minor niggles or managing post-season surgeries that will likely have no bearing on next year’s workload.

Wood is currently addressing a calf issue which should see him return to the fold fully by the new year, while King is set to pick up full training duties by next week following shoulder surgery.