THE cold and dark days of pre-season – the ultimate culture shock for any player experiencing an English rugby league pre-season for the first time.

Paul Vaughan was no different last year and while his Canberra roots prepared him for the cold, it was still quite an adjustment from gearing up for a new year in the height of an Australian summer.

While many overseas players opt to return Down Under for the off-season, the prop has stayed put over the autumn ahead of returning to pre-season training, which begins today.

Having settled well in the north west and enjoyed a stellar first season in Super League – so much so that he was named in the competition’s Dream Team for 2022 – the prop was more than happy to stick around for the testing days and nights that are to come.

“I’ve enjoyed the summer, even if we didn’t get much of one weather-wise,” he said.

“Even just things like it not going dark until 11 o’clock at night were really cool. What I struggled with initially was it being pitch black at four in the afternoon – that was an adjustment.

“I’m from Canberra originally and it gets pretty cold down there so I was used to it, but it did get quite cold over winter here so we’ll see how we go this time around.”