THIS should have been building into the a crunch time for the Saints players ­— with all eyes on next week’s Challenge Cup game and the mouthwatering Good Friday clash in April.

Instead the season is suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19 ­— with the players in limbo, left to fill their isolation time with personal fitness training and household chores.

So instead of thinking about what Salford and Wigan are going to throw at Saints in the next fortnight, experienced prop Kyle Amor’s ticklist included clearing out his shed and garage and weeding his flower beds.

Getting used to conditions unknown to the post war generation is a challenge everyone is facing, but Amor highlighted the specific problems faced by professional rugby league players.

The two-time Grand Final winning prop said: “I will get out for a run a couple of times a week to keep ticking over.

“The problem is we don’t know how long this is going to go on for. I don’t know whether to go really hard now and maintain my fitness levels, or do we take a break and then hit it hard? .

“We could end up doing the wrong stuff and burning out – so we have to box clever with our experience and get around it.

“I am just going to try and keep moving – keep my bodyweight the same. In terms of strength we can’t do anything apart from push ups.

“Not all of us are like Luke Thompson, who has a gym in his house!

“We just have to do the best we can do.

“Our main issue is keeping muscle mass and fitness levels. I have found as you get older, so you can’t stop moving as it becomes so hard to get back.

“Keeping the fitness levels to the standard when we left is tough. It will be challenging.”

He has managed an impromtu gym in his back garden.


Amor explained that the nature of rugby league as a collision sport means that the training they are limited to will be purely basic fitness – and would not equip them fully to restart the season at the drop of the hat ­— something he says should be factored in once the COVID-19 emergency is over.

"The training that we are limited to is not specific to our sport. Distance running is all very well and we do cover ground in a game, but we are collision sport ­— up and down on the floor.

"We are not even allowed to train with anyone – we have to be on our own.

“So let’s say if it is all over in July – the game can’t just turn round and say ‘that’s it lads, we are kicking off in two weeks’. There will have to be a duty of care to the players for them to get back up and running to those sort of levels. Otherwise the welfare of the players would go out of the window.

“It is a brutal sport. If anyone could just rock up and play it they would,” he said.

Among the challenges for all players involved in team sport, it not having colleagues to push you on or bounce off.

"We are used to training with 30 blokes every day you have to go from that to being mentally disciplined to push ourselves to those fitness levels.

"A big part of sport is being able to be around your mates all the time – bouncing off each other and helping other out.

"We all know each other inside out. But we’ve all got WhatsApp and Facetime – it is just the same in every household with family, work colleagues and friends.

"It's something we all have to get used to," Amor said.