Luke Gale column: Pay cuts are on horizon across all clubs

Luke Gale.Luke Gale.
Luke Gale. | jpimedia
IT IS a tough time for our sport and it looks almost 100 per cent sure players are going to take pay cuts, maybe not this month, but over the next couple.

That’s not just at Leeds Rhinos, but across the board in Super League and, if that’s what it takes to keep clubs up and running, I think all the boys will be willing to listen to what is proposed.

We all have mortgages to pay and mouths to feed, but we also want to save our game.

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We’ve not had any firm details yet, but we know clubs are in talks with the Rugby Football League (RFL) and they are looking at what the government can do to help.

Luke GaleLuke Gale
Luke Gale | jpimedia

Rugby league is like every other business during the coronavirus pandemic; there’s not much income coming in and nobody knows when that will change.

Obviously it is dark days and worrying for everybody, but there are people a lot worse off than us.

A lot of people depend on the game for their livelihood and we all want it to survive. As players, we are no different - we just want to get back playing sooner rather than later.

When that will be, who knows?

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Castleford's Oliver Holmes.Castleford's Oliver Holmes.
Castleford's Oliver Holmes. | jpimedia

Things have got even more serious over the last week or so, now everybody is being told to stay at home.

I think we were all expecting that to happen at some stage.

I am not a politician, but I think the lockdown was the right thing to do.

Until then people were just doing what they wanted and that wasn’t safe.

If staying at home stops the coronavirus spreading, takes some of the pressure off the NHS and helps save lives, then we should all support that.

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Everyone saw pictures in the media of people crowding in parks and at the seaside last week.

We have to be safer and smarter than that so I think it was the right call. We were due to start training in the gym at Kirkstall on Monday.

But that got cancelled after Boris Johnson’s announcement that night and I reckon there’ll be none of that now for the foreseeable future. That’s understandable and I don’t think anyone expected we’d be back on April 3.

I can’t see there being much sport anywhere until at least June, but we have to keep ourselves in shape by doing our own activities.

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We need to be fit and ready to go when matches do start again, because I don’t think there’ll be much time for a mini pre-season. I have bought some kettlebells and dumbbells and I’m lucky I have Rothwell Park on my doorstep so I can get out there for my one outside exercise every day.

There’s some rugby posts at the bottom of the field near my house. I haven’t quite got to that stage yet but I’m sure, in the next few days, I’ll be nipping out there with a rugby ball to do some kicking practice.

I’ve also done a couple of runs - the first road runs I’ve done in two years, since I was injured.

That was nice and my partner is a keen cross-trainer and she has been trying to get me in the garden all week so I gave in eventually and we did a garden session on Wednesday. It is not ideal, but this is a crazy time and it’s unprecedented what’s going on.

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Everyone is just trying to crack on and live as normal a life as possible. It’s a case of trying to make the most of a bad situation which the whole world is going through.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on social media and some of the lads seem to be doing more training on there than they do when they are actually playing! There’s all sorts of fitness videos popping up on Twitter and the like and I think it’s a good initiative to get the fans involved as well.

A lot of clubs are giving the boys rowers and watt bikes to keep them fit and it’s great to see.

I had a chat with Oliver Holmes, my old Cas team-mate, the other day and told him I’ve never seen him training so hard.

It looks like we will be going back fit, anyway.

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