HE’S come through a dozen pre-season training campaigns, but Luther Burrell’s first as a Super League player with Warrington Wolves could be his most important.

Head coach Steve Price repeated often during the summer that it would be in 2020 after a full programme of preparation that Wire fans would start to see the best of the former Northampton and England rugby union centre.

The time since his arrival at the club in July, which has included two starts, has been more of a settling in period than one of setting the place on fire.

Now it all changes, he needs to make his mark.

There will be no Bryson Goodwin or Ryan Atkins to bring dynamism to the three-quarter line in 2020 and The Wire will need Burrell and new recruits Anthony Gelling and Keanan Brand to push for centre slots along with Ireland and England Knights international Toby King.

“This pre-season is massive for me,” said the Huddersfield-born 31-year-old, now in his second week of training following an off-season that included a family holiday in Dubai and shutting himself off from rugby altogether.

“I didn’t do much training during the break as I’d just come off a 15-month season.

“I wanted to give my body a rest so I could hit the ground running and build myself back up.

“This pre-season not only sets me up for the season, but I also have to integrate myself into a culture that I’ve not known for a long time.

“I’ll be waking up every morning, getting to training and putting in 110 per cent and hopefully come the end of this first five to six weeks block I will be in a good position.

“We’ll have a little rest over Christmas and New Year and then at the end of January we’re looking at our warm-up games so that’s the real target then.

“It’s pretty much all conditioning, as pre-season is. It’s pretty minging to be honest, you’re just running, you’re feeling sick, you’re rowing, you’re on the Wattbikes.

“It’s pretty brutal but you wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re having an easy pre-season then you’re not going to reap any benefits.

“Ade Gardner is doing a great job with us in these early stages and I’m working really closely with him to try and get in the best shape possible.”

Under the guidance of the conditioners, he has already lost eight kilogrammes since joining from the 15-a-side code.

“I’m sharper, I’m fitter, and I feel I can run better, but I need to get adapted to this new weight now. I need to be able to function properly at this new weight.

“That’s the challenge for those guys now that I maintain this weight but I stay strong, I stay strong in my core, I can still lift, and I can still be just as explosive because that’s an element of my game I can’t afford to lose.”