Titans playmaker Tyrone Roberts says the prospect of being part of rugby league’s new era of fly-in, fly-out workers will only sharpen his focus as he tries to get his team back on track in the restarted NRL season.
Roberts was one of the unexpected beneficiaries of rugby league’s coronavirus hibernation period, with the veteran pivot injuring his ankle in the last game the Titans played – a humbling 46-6 defeat by Parramatta at Cbus Super Stadium in Round 2.
But with the code and the club going into shutdown after that game, Roberts has been able to rehabilitate the injury to ensure he won’t miss a match and be ready for when the Titans restart their season against the Cowboys next weekend.
“The body is feeling good. We did some individual training on the break so everyone, including myself and most of the squad, have come back in good nick,” Roberts said of the enforced lay-off.
“The body is feeling good – now I can’t wait to play some football.
“(The injury) wasn’t too bad. I tore some ligaments in my ankle, but the break helped that heal.
“During the break, towards the end, we had some access to the physio, so I was able to get some treatment. But I have got no issue with the ankle at the moment, so it is good.”
Rugby league will return next weekend, but not necessarily how we know it – with COVID-19 restrictions still in place leading to a big change in what is “normal” for the Titans’ NRL squad.
One of the big differences will be around travel, with all teams now having to fly in, play and fly out again on the same day for long-distance away matches.
The traditional approach of flying in the day before the game to allow the team to settle-in and train in their destination city is now a luxury that cannot be afforded in a post-coronavirus competition.
But Roberts for one is happy with the new arrangements, with the lack of lead-in time allowing him to refine his focus on the job at hand.
“You can’t complain, it is the same for all teams,” he said. “You have to adapt and prepare yourself for fly-in, fly out. Things like wearing compression garments – all the little things to get your body right to play a game and do your recovery straight after it.
“I don’t think it will affect me much. I like to keep my mind busy on game day, so all that travelling will give me something else to think about besides the game.
“When you cross that stripe, then you think about that game.
“It takes your mind away from everything else, so I think it will be good the fly-in, fly out.”