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Training's tough in uncertain times - Evans

20/03/2020

In his most recent South Wales Argus column, back row Lewis Evans lifts the lid on the players view following the impact of Coronavirus on the 2019/20 season.

"THESE are unprecedented times for everyone and at the Dragons we have resorted to training alone, not knowing when we will all be back together in the same room let alone putting our boots on to play.

"Things are changing daily and rugby players, like everyone else, are having to come to terms with uncertainty.

"Coronavirus has led to the Guinness PRO14 being suspended, our European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol being postponed and our usual routine being ripped up.

"At the start of the week we were planning for a Monday-Wednesday-Friday training schedule but now we are all working in isolation.

"I've only played five games this season and had only just come back from a bicep injury, so I am personally devastated about the timing but outside of the sporting world things are more concerning.

"We turned up at our Ystrad Mynach training base on Monday to be greeted by the medical department, who rather than strapping up injured ankles were operating as quarantine officers.

"Outside our temperatures were taken with thermometers, from that we washed our hands and then used gels before we completed some online monitoring.

"Then it was outside for a briefing in our posh inflatable tent, which was bought last summer to allow handling skills in the dry but was now the venue for a meeting in the fresh air.

"There were three plans put before us with the first assuming the Bristol quarter-final was going ahead. Within a few hours we'd moved into the second plan.

"We're now in a period of self-isolation and we can't use public gyms, which is quite a conundrum for professional rugby players.

"We have to stay fit but not all of us are fortunate enough to have a gymnasium in our house like Richard Hibbard!

"The idea when we are in training normally is that we shouldn't need to get additional volume into our routine away from Ystrad Mynach, avoiding injuries like the one I suffered pounding the pavement when I was an up-and-coming back row forward.

That's all gone out the window because of coronavirus and now I'm planning on doing hill sprints in Belle Vue Park and a few laps of Cwmbran Boating Lake.

"It's a challenge because fitness levels can drop off quickly.

"For 'the elders' such as myself, Brok Harris and Aaron Jarvis, the prospect of another 25-week pre-season is not an attractive one. Hopefully there will be some rugby before next autumn but we are all playing a waiting game.

"The idea of at least playing the remaining Welsh derbies down the line is a good one. Players would have something to train for, coaches could keep progress going and the public would have something to talk about besides coronavirus.

"These are testing times for all of us and hopefully we will get back towards some kind of normality in the coming weeks."

CLICK HERE to read the full article with the South Wales Argus 

The idea of at least playing the remaining Welsh derbies down the line is a good one
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