Lockdown life in the Championship

For Steve Tyrer, the frustrations of not being able to play at present are several fold.

The experienced Halifax centre starts the by stressing there are more important things going on at the moment than Championship Rugby League.

But still, at 31, he knows his time in the professional game is limited, and potentially losing almost a full campaign would hit his remaining time on the field further.

Given that he is chasing down his club’s all-time points scoring record, that is even more difficult to take.

Throw in the fact that he is among a huge percentage of Championship and League One players out of contract this year, and the absence of a team environment for the first time since childhood, and it would be easy for the former St Helens junior to be climbing the walls.

But he has a level-headed view of the current situation.

“There are many more important things in the world now than us playing rugby,” Tyrer explains.

“As players we all want to get back on the field, but a lot of the Halifax lads are pretty resigned to the fact now that we probably won’t.

“I understand the logistics involved in trying to get the Championship up and running and I accept that it may be too difficult.

“The lads that are part-time are working during the day and mixing in other circles, and the way the testing works, that would be difficult.

“But for me, as a player and an athlete, that’s devastating. I’m not injured, but right now there’s a chance I might not play again until February.

“At my age I haven’t got that long left, and then there’s the record.

“If the season is voided, will those points that I’ve scored get taken away?

“I’m also off contract at the end of the year, so I don’t know what happens then. Hopefully I’ve got enough credit in the bank to stay at Halifax, but you never know.

“But not being around the team has been the toughest thing.

“I’ve been in a team environment since I was six years old.

“No disrespect to my partner and family, but I do miss that day-to-day interaction with team-mates.

“I never thought I’d say I miss Scott Murrell and Shaun Robinson, who make my life hell, but I do.

“It’s been a little look into what retirement will be like, and, to be honest, I don’t like the look of it much.

“It does make you hungrier to play again when you don’t have many years left.

“I’ll be 32 or thereabouts at the start of next season, and to lose a season at this stage of my career is a bit of a kick in the teeth.”

Tyrer understands that regular testing and playing behind closed doors is unlikely to be viable in a part-time environment.

“You’re seeing it in football now where the players don’t leave their home except to go to training and back,” he says.

“Super League can manage something similar – I know that’s still difficult but you can manage it.

“I’m self-employed and I’ve got no option like that.

“I’m often working with other blokes and would then have to go and mix with players at training.

“That’s why I understand the logistics that are involved for the Championship.

“We all talk on WhatsApp, and most of the team are still on furlough and not working.

“That’s alright at the moment and everything seems rosy if you’re still getting your wages; but what happens when that stops?

“Some of them have got that worry as well as the rugby stuff.”

Tyrer has kept himself in shape with dawn training sessions and weekend mountain bike rides, but he believes the players need some certainty soon about what is happening in 2020.

He added: “It’s not knowing that’s the hardest thing for everybody.

“The lads just want something to aim for.

“If the season is voided then we can relax and come back in October or November with something to aim for.

“But not getting any information is hard.”