Jack Wells on Toronto loan, lockdown - and his Wigan Warriors future
Jack Wells has found one positive from the season's suspension - being able to spend time with his baby.
The Wigan forward joined Toronto Wolfpack on a month's loan earlier this year.
Wells was expecting to extend his spell with the Super League newcomers, which would have meant moving across the Atlantic last month had the season gone on as scheduled.
But with the campaign halted in mid-March and the nation under lockdown since, he has been able to spend quality time with partner Ellie and their six-week-old daughter Lyla.
"Had the pandemic not happened I'd have probably been over there in Canada for a few weeks," said the 22-year-old.
"We did talk about it and she was happy with it but it still would have felt uncomfortable, being so far away.
"But it fell through with the whole lockdown so it wasn't an issue."
Wells lives at home with his parents but relatives not in the same household have yet to meet the new addition to the family.
"I've been sending pictures to my brother and grandad," added Wells.
Wells moved to Toronto to gain first-team experience as he looks to muscle his way into Adrian Lam's plans.
An academy-product with 13 Warriors appearances to his name, his entire 2018 was wiped out by a serious foot injury - and he spent time last year playing at Championship outfit Swinton as he rebuilt his confidence and fitness.
"It was a good experience being with Toronto," said the former England academy international.
"It was a big step up from the reserves and the Championship and it was good to get some game-time.
"I played St Helens and Leeds, and then I was Cup-tied for the Huddersfield game and then the lockdown happened.
"From being injured to getting back to that level, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life before the lockdown.
"Obviously my fitness has dipped a bit then because I'm training at home and doing runs, it's never quite as intense on your own, but that shouldn't be hard to regain once we're going again."
Wells' loan with Toronto was only for a month but he was eyeing an extension as he looks to convince Wigan he should be in their long-term plans.
"I spoke to my agent and I was happy to stay because I was enjoying my time there and getting the chance to put myself in the shop window," he added.
"Wigan gave me one more year and it depends on how I go this season, whether I stay or not.
"For now I just want to get my head down and play as much as I can - and hopefully we're back soon."