For many players like Waimea flyer Michael Stringer, the wait to get back on the footy field has been a long one.
The 21-year-old says it’s been tough not training with teammates for almost ten weeks now.
New Zealand Rugby has developed ‘Return to Rugby Requirements’ which apply to all levels of the game.
All community and club rugby must follow the three stages of preparation, prepare to train, prepare to play and play.
Phase two is now in effect meaning training can resume with a return date to competition earmarked for June 20.
Michael says even without the team environment, he has motivated himself to stay fit and keep his skills sharp.
“During lockdown I still managed to do some hill running and get to the field for some kicking and sprinting,
However, Michael was unable to train for the physicality of premier rugby.
“Contact was the hardest skill to keep up and will take a bit for the body to get used to again.”
Despite the disruption Michael is confident his side will reestablish itself among the competition favourites.
“We have a good team and will gel again quite quickly.”
Waimea enjoyed a strong 2019 culminating in an epic win over Marist in the Nelson club final and Michael is hopeful of emulating that form.
“We want another trophy.”
The dynamic utility is also looking forward to reigniting the rivalry with Marist.
“They have a strong team so it will be good to get a few games against them, just not as many draws this time.”
Michael has been a rep rugby regular in recent years and should he come close to the form he showed last season will be right in the mix for the Mako.
“Personally, I just want to have a good run and hope for higher honours.”