I’m excited for England’s future under Shaun Wane – Luke Gale

I REMEMBER Andy Last coming out of retirement to play scrum-half for Hull against us in an Academy Grand Final – and killing it!
LAST-ING MEMORY: Luke Gale played against Andy Last, left, towards the end of the Hull hooker's career.LAST-ING MEMORY: Luke Gale played against Andy Last, left, towards the end of the Hull hooker's career.
LAST-ING MEMORY: Luke Gale played against Andy Last, left, towards the end of the Hull hooker's career.

He’s been appointed as England assistant coach this week along with Paul Wellens and I think they’re both great appointments.

But I was speaking to (Hull and England prop) Scott Taylor about Lasty and I do remember playing against him.

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With Rhinos, we’d beaten Hull 1-0 in the 2006 Academy Grand Final and it was the following season Lasty ended up playing.

ENGLAND HOPES: Luke GaleENGLAND HOPES: Luke Gale
ENGLAND HOPES: Luke Gale

He was their coach and I think he’d finished playing Super League a couple of years before but they had some injuries. He came in and truly was their main man as they won 38-22!

Scott speaks highly of him and he’s been in the assistant role a fair few years now at Hull.

He’s a real smart bloke. And Wello as well. He was a great player for England and is someone I’ve worked with in recent years. It’s two good appointments by Shaun Wane.

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It’d be class to play under Waney, just by how passionately he talks about England.

NEW MAN: England coach Shaun WaneNEW MAN: England coach Shaun Wane
NEW MAN: England coach Shaun Wane

I’ve played against a lot of his teams and they are tough to play against.

Given that passion and the things he did with Wigan I know I’d love to play under someone like him.

I’m not sure if the Ashes will be canned at the end of the year or not and I suppose it depends on how early we start playing again.

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Initially it was nice to be picked for the group gathering that Wane selected – 31 prospective Ashes players – and I was happy with the start I’d had to the Super League season. When we get back playing hopefully I – and especially the team – can start as we finished off.

Obviously, there’s been news of the pay-cuts this week, too.

We all knew it was coming. The state of the world at the moment, it was inevitable really. And most of the boys do understand and are kind of happy with that.

But I think what we’re trying to get in place is that, as soon as we do get back playing and back in training, those wage cuts are no longer. That’s what the boys are really keen on and, speaking to a lot of the lads throughout the league, that’s been mentioned throughout.

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I think that’s rightly so. Obviously, we fulfil our fixtures, then the boys want to jump back to what our contracts are or, if not, at least be very close to that.

But obviously for the next few months where we’re sat at home doing nothing we’re more than happy to take the hit and help save the game.

That’s not an issue whatsoever. First of all we are for it. But once we obviously get back playing, so we should be getting back to our original contract. Throughout the League, from club to club, it looks like people have been offered slightly different wage cuts but basically they are all similarly in line and with a review in June.

If we’re playing again in July – that’s what we’re all hoping – and fulfilling our Sky games we’ve ticked that box.

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I don’t think there’ll be crowds so probably behind closed doors but the boys are keen to say that we are playing and fulfilling our contractual agreement and are, then, paid accordingly.

As for training in isolation, looking on Twitter and Instagram, conditioners might be out of a job when we return!

I’ve never seen lads as fit. I suppose there’s nothing else to do than train.

But it’s important not just to road run. We had a text from our conditioner reminding us that we’re not trying to be Mo Farah and to remember we are a professional rugby league player, not track and field athletes!

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He wanted to make sure we did our ups and downs and field running as well so I’ve been mixing that up.

The most important thing of this isolation is a routine; we’re told what to do every single day of the week so we work to schedule and the first couple of weeks I struggled.

But as soon as you work that schedule and get into a bit of a routine it’s nice and easy.