Players would back midweek matches, reckons Liam Farrell

Liam Farrell reckons players will happily go along with playing midweek matches when rugby league gets the green light to resume.
Liam Farrell has been training on his own during the lockdown periodLiam Farrell has been training on his own during the lockdown period
Liam Farrell has been training on his own during the lockdown period

Bosses have drawn up contingency plans based on different restart dates.

But each case is likely to feature compact campaigns packed with quickfire fixtures, giving players short turnarounds between games.

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Leeds chief executive Gary Hetheringon admitted during a press briefing yesterday they would have to break their own rule, guaranteeing players a minimum five-day turnaround.

And forward Farrell said: “We’ve briefly spoke as a playing group about midweek games.

“As far as I understand it, we need to play so many games to fulfill the broadcast contract and if that means playing midweek games we need to do it.

“It wouldn’t be ideal but we all realise we’re in a unique position here – this isn’t about us, it’s about keeping the sport going.

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“And I imagine most players will do all they can to do that.”

Wigan’s last match was an 18-14 defeat at Salford on March 13. Even many optimists think rugby league may not return until June or July.

Farrell and his team-mates are training individually at home during this lockdown period.

“It depends on when it can start up again, we’ve been told three different start dates for Super League and the latest could even go into early December, but nobody has any idea,” he added.

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“We’ve just got to bide our time and see what happens, it’s new for everyone.”

Leeds boss Hetherington says asking players to also take part in midweek games should not be a welfare issue.

He said: "We have a rule where you can’t play any earlier than five days after your last game but that’s going to have to go out of the window. We will have to be playing three times a week.

“I’ll be disappointed if I start hearing people whinging and using player welfare as an issue when it isn’t. Player welfare is serious; it relates to stress, anxiety and mental health but we’re talking about playing sport and rugby league is a tough sport.”

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