FOR more than 120 days the Warrington Wolves players have been training on their own, or in small groups more recently, while on furlough leave.

Such has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the globe on elite professional athletes, as well as those who feature at all levels of sport.

The Wire boys have been doing what they can with limited equipment during the UK lockdown to keep themselves as fit as possible in readiness for the resumption of the 25th season of Super League, when the bump, grind, collisions and monster hits will come at them again like a ton of bricks.

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Warrington Guardian photographer Mike Boden caught up with loose-forward Jason Clark working his way through various strength exercises at Grappenhall Sports Club, stand-off Blake Austin pounding on tracks in Appleton and then prop Joe Philbin, hooker Daryl Clark, winger Tom Lineham and scrum-half Dec Patton tackling repeat running sets at Shaw Street playing fields in Culcheth.

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Some players have added bike rides or online high intensity group workouts to their routines, while some have loaned club equipment such as rowing machines to help keep themselves ticking over.

Covid-19 testing started last week, and will continue weekly, to allow Steve Price's troops to return to group training on Monday, July 20, when the players are to start a fortnight's mini pre-season to prepare their bodies and minds for the physical demands to come in behind-closed-doors matches from Saturday, August 8.

With some weeks between August 8 and the Grand Final at the end of November to include midweek games, the action is going to be coming thick and fast. Fans can expect to see The Wire making full use of their strong full-time squad as well as calling on players from the reserves and academy ranks too.

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