WARRINGTON Wolves co-captain Chris Hill has acknowledged the coronavirus outbreak among Hull FC players as ‘alarming’.

Six of the Airlie Birds’ players and two coaching staff have tested positive for Covid-19 since their game with Salford on Sunday, triggering public health ‘self-isolation’ protocols and leaving neither team being able to play this weekend.

But Hill said the focus remains on cracking on with the job and preparing for Saturday’s Super League clash with Huddersfield Giants at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium, an encounter which has been rescheduled for 6.30pm among a reshuffled programme that includes some teams now facing different opponents than was originally planned.

“Obviously our wishes go out to the boys at Hull and if there’s anyone really struggling with it that’s the last thing we want,” said the 32-year-old England international prop.

“Over so many weeks there’s not been one player or member of staff that’s been tested positive, but it only takes that one person to get it or not to show symptoms and pass it on.

“I know nobody’s tested positive at Salford so far and hopefully nobody’s caught it there.

“We can only concentrate on what we’re doing at Warrington. Nick Murphy, our physio, has had everything in place from day one and all credit goes to him.”

He said the unfolding events on Humberside had not left him feeling worried or thinking twice about playing matches.

“Not so much, it’s just one of them where you just want to get on with things. What will be will be, and hopefully everybody in Hull and Salford are alright,” he added.

Among the backdrop of spending over four months on furlough training alone, having only a few weeks back together again before returning to play a game that’s been sped up through some rule changes, plus the current hot weather, Hilly paid tribute to the elite players who have produced such high standards and entertaining rugby during Super League’s return.

“When Covid hit, I know for me personally it was getting up, going out running on my own, doing little bits of training,” he said.

“And I think you can see overall everyone’s had a great dig. I can definitely vouch for our lads and what they’ve done through Covid.

“I think with these rule changes it’s probably sparked the game up a little bit, and we’ll see a lot more entertaining stuff.

“Hopefully a couple of years down the line we’ll look at this as a bit of a turning point within rugby league.”

With regards to what these warriors of sport have been able to deliver, including Warrington’s win against Hull KR on Sunday, he added: “There’s a lot of commitment on show and hopefully a lot of people see that.

“We saw a lot of people running around the streets when we were on lockdown and had the hour out, and I was doing ups and downs on the field near me on my own.

“And it’s hard work after five, six, seven weeks of doing it on your own. So there’s a lot of commitment with the lads, and I can vouch for our boys. They had a real dig.

“You saw that last week and playing is nothing like training. You can do as much training as you want, but getting up and down in tackles and people whacking you, it’s just not the same as in training.

“We had a good two weeks leading into the first game and for a first game back I said to Pricey afterwards “We’ll take that, 40 points” and we’d only played well for 15 to 20 minutes.”

Head coach Steve Price echoed his skipper’s thoughts.

“That’s been the pleasing thing, that as the game grew we got stronger. So that’s credit to the playing group of what they’d done during their time away," he said.

“We’re in a good place and if we can just execute our plays a little bit better and control the ball a little bit better then we’ll put ourselves in a lot better position."

Price feels The Wire will be better this week for having the first run under their belts in games that now have the ball in play for up to 14 minutes longer due to the temporary removal of scrums and a ‘six again’ rule that eradicates stop-start play from penalties being awarded for ruck infringements.

He added: “The more game time our spine play together and the more training sessions they get, the more the influx of positivity we’re going to get among the team too.

“It’s a good position we’re in.”

Hill said the 'new normal' around the training ground at Padgate Campus is starting to feel normal.

“It is different. We go in, get our temperature checked, there’s all social distancing rules to follow," he explained.

"We’ll do our normal weigh-in and stuff like that, and now we have a set-up in the training barn. There’s a one-way system, and our chairs and our facilities are apart.

“Our barn is now half a gym and we split in the gym, so it reduces the numbers so that we’re not all on top of each other.

“We’ll go and train. When we come in as a group, we’ll stay two metres apart. And with water bottles we can’t be sharing anything like that.

“It was a bit odd for the first two or three days but we just become accustomed to it.

“We’re there to play rugby to the best we can. We just learn and get on with it, and that’s what rugby lads do.”