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There is nothing quite like a Ruben Wiki workout on a muggy Auckland evening to help you drop a few kilograms. 

Just ask Auckland U20 squad member Jacob Leung-Wai Milo.  

In his first month of training with Wiki – who is working with Leung-Wai Milo’s Otara Scorpions this year – the 19-year-old has already lost 8kgs and believes there’s plenty more to drop yet. 

“It’s been a killer with Ruben, but he’s been helping me heaps,” Leung-Wai Milo said. 

“I’ve got heaps more to go I think. My goal weight is 110kg and right now I’m 120kg. 

“I buzz out sometimes when I look at Ruben when he’s talking to us.

“I was too young to have watched him play, but I watch clips of his runs off kick-offs, so I know a bit about him.”

Efforts to slim down come after a few years of adversity for Leung-Wai Milo, who had to forfeit his final year at Gold Coast league nursery Keebra Park State High School – famed for helping to develop NRL superstars such as Benji Marshall and Payne Haas – last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There were also back-to-back serious knee injuries in 2018 and 2019, resulting in two surgeries, one of which was a reconstruction. 

“I was pretty gutted for a few months there, but I’m over it now and have moved past it,” he said. 

“Keebra was a good experience. It was tough, the trainings were something else, especially the fitness. 

“While I was there I played against (current Queensland State of Origin player) Xavier Coates and played with guys like (2021 Brisbane Broncos trialist) Reece Walsh.

“I’m thankful to the people at my homestay in Aus who always pushed me to train and not sit there and feel sorry for myself with my knee problems. 

“One of their children did their knee at the same time so we were rehabbing and training together which helped.”

Ahead of his Auckland White side kicking off their NZRL National 20s campaign this Saturday against Wai-Coa-Bay in Rotorua, Leung-Wai Milo said preparations are tracking well.

“Trainings have been going well and we’ve been focussing a lot on the game plan we want to use for the competition,” he said. 

“It’s good to be gelling with guys my age. 

“Everyone is training really well and we are excited for the first game.”