So good to be taking step back to normality at Leeds Rhinos – Luke Gale

AFTER FOUR months, I feel like a rugby player again.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 5:30 am
Luke Gale. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

We are back in on Monday for the official start of training, but we had Covid-19 tests and a bit of a fitness check on Wednesday and I was seriously impressed.

I wouldn’t have expected any different but all the boys came in and, to be honest, they were unbelievable.

It was a good day. We had a five-minute run and I’d say 95 per cent of us beat our scores from pre-season at the start of this year, so we had a happy conditioner.

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The effort and the commitment the boys have shown through lockdown has been fantastic and every player came back in good shape.

It showed everyone has looked after themselves and they have all kept themselves in good nick, which I think is paramount with a short run-in to the end of the season.

It was nice to see everyone again. Donno - James Donaldson - was getting on everybody’s nerves already so it was like we hadn’t been away.

It was good to be back, although different to what we’re used to.

Leeds Rhinos' James Donaldson. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

We trained in small groups, with social distancing, but it was a step back to normality, for me anyway.

The clock is ticking now and, come Monday, we will have three weeks to get ready for the Huddersfield Giants game on August 2.

After that it’s going to be all hands on deck with 22 rounds to play in four months.

It’s not a lot of time after so long off, but we have all been working hard on our own during lockdown and, as I mentioned last week, we’ve stepped things up a bit over the last few weeks since the restrictions eased, doing some running in small groups.

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar. Picture: Steve Riding.

We all just want to get back out there and do our jobs. If it was up to me, I’d be happy to start this weekend. Obviously that’s not practical, but we will make the most of the time we have got and I am sure Rich Agar and the coaching staff will have us all ready to go when the first game comes along.

It has been a tough few months, as it has for everyone, but I am thankful for having my job back at long last. Now I can’t wait for Monday and another step towards getting out on the field again.

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