The uncertainty of enforced layoff is tough to cope with, admits Leeds Rhinos' Alex Mellor

LEEDS RHINOS forward Alex Mellor is hoping to make good use of rugby league’s enforced layoff.

Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 9:30 am
Updated Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 9:31 am
Alex Mellor.

With the sport suspended until at least April 3, Rhinos’ players have been given two weeks off and Mellor revealed: “I’m just playing unlimited golf – hopefully my handicap will come down.”

That might be all right for a week or so, but Mellor admitted, like all players during the coronavirus crisis, he is beginning to get itchy feet.

Rhinos were five games into their Betfred Super League campaign – and on a four-match winning run – when a halt was called.

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Alex Mellor is tackled.

“I’ve had two games cancelled this season and I don’t think I’ve ever had one cancelled before in my career,” the former Huddersfield Giants man said.

“It’s a weird one to prepare for as you don’t know what you’re doing day to day. Safety is the main thing and you have to agree with whatever they go with, but the frustrating thing is you don’t know how long it’s for.

“You just go back to training pre-season style or time off, but no-one knows?”

Rhinos’ training has been suspended for a fortnight, but the gym at their Kirkstall base will be open next week for any of the full-time squad who want to use it.

Mellor added: “We have been told to stay away from public places and we’re due back in on March 30. It’s not self-isolating as such, but being careful.”

Mellor is no stranger to rugby league crises, having played for Bradford Bulls from 2013-2016 when the club was ravaged by financial problems.

He admitted: “Bradford Bulls was a really tough time, I had two administrations and a liquidation there.

“It’s similar in that you’re in the dark, no-one is really telling you anything.

“The difference is, at Bradford there were a few lies told and a lot of things covered up.

“In this instance, no-one actually knows what is happening.

“There’s not the financial stress on the player as such, but with the club there is quite a lot. I’ve had quite a few stressful times in my career so far and Bradford was the worst as we went into liquidation and we all lost our jobs.”