Tony Clubb admits he is “feeling it a bit more” after the intensity of Wigan’s pre-season was dialed up.
The players returned to training on Monday – after a few days’ break – with a bigger emphasis on running in the countdown to Christmas.
But games and competitions among themselves have kept the punishing schedule enjoyable.
Clubb said: “We were told it’d be a tough one, and it has been.
“We had a few days off before the running (started), and we’re feeling it a bit more.
“It’s been hard but it’s been enjoyable at the same time.
“They’re putting a lot of games into training, and as soon as you do that, lads get competitive. It’s enjoyable. Things are looking good.”
The prop has endured a tough 12-months, losing his dad and then needing surgery to remove a kidney. Previously, he battled a serious back injury.
Clubb admitted: “It was a bad year.
“My dad died last Christmas, I somehow lost a kidney and I had trouble with my spine.
“It was a tough one but you have to go through things like that.
“With my kidney, it was just one of those freaky things which came at a bad time.”
He helped Wigan win the World Club Challenge last February before his lay-off, and returned from his lay-off in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in August.
“I started the year well but after my kidney (problem), I struggled to kick on,” added the ex-London Broncos captain.
“But I’ve sat down with Waney and set individual goals and mine is to start well and have a big year for Wigan. “