After months away from Goldenacre due to a cancelled season and a second lockdown, Heriot’s Rugby Super6 squad have returned for pre-season training.
The first training session of 2021 for the semi-professional team was on 30 March under the guidance of Head Coach Andrew Kelly and Strength and Conditioning Coach Jordan Welsh.
Pre-season is vital, according to Andrew, especially due to the extended period the squad were in lockdown and away from the pitch.
‘‘The amount of time off since the guys have played means we need longer to help their bodies to get ready to cope with the demands of a game of rugby,’’ he said.
‘‘Preparations have been different mainly due to the time we need to get the guys up to speed conditioning wise.
‘‘We have smart rugby players that know the game so structures, techniques and game management will come back to them quickly.’’
The squad are undertaking two gruelling conditioning sessions a week on the back pitches designed by Jordan with gym sessions to be added once COVID-19 restrictions allow.
‘‘The main focus for the squad returning is to follow our programme in terms of their running, high-speed running, change of direction and capacity of key injury areas. Week to week the intensity and the distances within the programme will increase,’’ he said.
Jordan believes there have been some benefits to the long off-season due to lockdown.
‘‘For the players who are older or have struggled with injuries in the past, it has been time for them to unwind and maximise their recovery. It’s hard for players playing week in, week out; bodies begin to break down if they don’t recover,” he said.
‘‘A lot of players will be returning refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. They all understand that they need to build their running and intensity loading slowly to avoid injury and this additionally allows them to step back into training without the worry of injury.’’