Why the Eels’ first training run didn’t go exactly to plan

It wasn’t ideal circumstances for a first training run with the spectre of Covid never far away and players missing, but the inaugural Parramatta NRLW squad is up and running.

The inaugural Parramatta NRLW squad have hit the training paddock for the first time but it wasn’t without Covid disruptions.

Several players were deemed close contacts to positive Covid cases which meant they couldn’t attend Monday’s training session, which left more than a dozen players to train in the wet Sydney conditions.

Eels coach Dean Widders admitted it was inevitable the club will have to navigate Covid concerns for the rest of the pre-season and into the season.

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“Covid and all the havoc it’s causing in New South Wales is causing some issues, so we had a few players missing,” Widders said.

“We anticipate that all through the pre-season.

“It’s inevitable down here in Sydney that people are going to catch it and they’re going to have symptoms.

“That’s just going to play a part in our training and probably our season.

“We’ve just got to make sure we manoeuvre that and I think the NRL have done a great job with the rapid testing to make sure we combat it as best we can.”

The Parramatta players were put through their paces on the field and in the gym as they prepare to enter the delayed 2021 NRLW season, which kicks off on February 27.

Widders said the squad wasn’t going to allow Covid to disrupt their plans and was confident in the high standards shown by the players on Monday.

“We’re off to a solid start and I thought the girls have come back well,” he said.

“We’ve got to learn to deal with this (Covid).

“We could lose players at any time, we could lose coaches at any time.

“We’ve got to be ready to roll with it and keep our standards as high as we can.

“The girls showed on Monday night that they are doing that well.”

Originally published as NRLW 2022: Covid disrupts Eels’ inaugural training session

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