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Difficult, irksome, tedious, boring and unglamorous work or effort needed to achieve success in a business venture, sport or study.

Used in speech as "doing the hard yards" or "putting in the hard yards".

Originated in Australia - New Zealand either in farming or rugby. To create a profitable farm it is necessary to "put in the hard yards" by clearing the land etc. In rugby, to score a try it is necessary for other team members "do the hard yards" by bringing the ball up the field against the opposition's best and brutal efforts so as to create a scoring opportunity
If you want to get fit, lose weight and have a chance to be picked for the team, you need to put in the hard yards down at the gym and at training.
by The Watcher On The Wall June 07, 2011
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