We’re in our third week back training and to be honest, it’s been pretty tough.
There have been a lot of hours spent in the gym and we’ve also been working on a lot of skill games and drills to improve our handling next season.
Coming into the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a lot of running too so it’s going to get a little bit worse from now on.
For now it’s mostly tuning our core skills, as well as the gym, and there’s a little bit of testing early on as well.
It’s one of the things a lot of the lads find really tough. During the first week back we do the VO2 max test which measures the amount of oxygen we are using and is basically an indicator of our fitness, and everyone dreads that one. We’ve also been told December will be a tough month so we’re already looking forward to getting it out the way - though we know we have to go into it with the right attitude to get the best from it.
This week we also had our first proper field session as a whole squad which was good, and everyone has ripped in really well.
Speaking of December, there’s something else I have to get right as I have the little one to buy for this year.
But I’m sure everyone else will buy for him too, which makes it a little bit easier, and I’m sure my mum will look after him too!
On the World Cup front, I know there are those who have called into questions John Bateman’s inclusion at centre in the England squad, but I have to say I think Wayne Bennett made the right call.
I read Bennett say John is very reliable in defence and that is one of the big reasons he’s got in there.
Wayne is bang on with his assessment, and I think there are very few errors in John’s game when it comes to D.
There might be more flashy players in attack but I’m sure one on one in defence Batty is the man to be there.
I do think though that George Williams has probably not been given a fair shout.
But there are some pretty good halfbacks there and some that control games and that’s probably an area of George’s game he knows he needs to get better at.
Skill-wise though there’s probably none better.
He’s had a few years now where he’s been involved in the England squad and I think the more time he spends there the more experience he’ll have of those kind of games.
It will also give him much more confidence for the future, being in that environment, and that can only be a good think both for him and the rest of us here at Wigan, because he’s already a great asset for us.