Salford captain Lee Mossop says the Covid-19 scare has made him reconsider his approach to the pandemic, although he still doesn’t believe social bubbles are necessary.
Mossop is one of the eleven Salford players self-isolating for two weeks after being picked up by the RFL’s track and trace system as coming into close contact with one of the Hull FC players who tested positive for the virus.
The news has come as a scare to Mossop, who, in an honest admission, accepted he had at times been blasé about the government guidance.
He now believes this scare will result in players across the competition reassessing their handling of the pandemic, but he doesn’t believe enforcing social bubbles is realistic or practical.
“It’s about finding a happy medium,” he said.
“Like every other player, I’ve got family who I’m really close to and potentially not to see them for another four months, that would be a massive ask.
“But all the players have been on massive cuts now and it’s no secret that the salary cap over here is very different to the NRL. I can’t speak for every club, but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to afford that as a club.
“I understand that it’s alright saying we can’t afford it, but we also can’t afford anything if the season goes under, so we need to find a balance.
“Nobody is at fault at Hull for this, but now we just have to find ways to be a bit stricter. Personally I’m going to be a bit more mindful, I was no saint, I was blasé.
“We (the team) all went for food together, we’ve not been told not to do that, but we’d been in for review, we’d had a good result, we didn’t go for a drink but we all went for a burger to celebrate. That could have infected another four or five other people if anyone had the virus.
“It’s just being mindful and I think everyone will be. It’s probably been a reality check for us all. I’m going to change some of the things I was doing.
“At the time (of discovering he needed to self-isolate) my dad was staying with me and we were interacting with people who are a part of our bubble. We knew somewhere along the lines this could happen, but it could be a blessing in the long run for the sport. Luckily we have a bye next week or we wouldn’t have been able to put a team out.
“The RFL has got everything in place. Perhaps it could be a little bit stricter and I’m sure it will be off the back of this.”
One thing Mossop would like to see is additional testing.
“If I’m honest, I don’t think any of us have the answer.
“I don’t want to be ignorant and tell people how to do their job, and the RFL have had very, very smart people involved in sorting this, but just one thing that jumps out is testing closer to the game.
“Testing on a Monday and playing on the Sunday means there’s six days to get infected, then you can infect your opponents and it just snowballs.
“I think you could test the day before a game, we got tested on Saturday and got the results Saturday night. You could all go in for captain’s run and if anyone gets it you’re containing it within your bubble.”
For now, Mossop is preparing for another week in strict quarantine.
“We’ve come into contact so we have to isolate for 14 days,” he said.
“We had to go in on Wednesday, someone met us for the temperature check, we didn’t come into contact with anyone and we drove off straightaway. They opened the car boot as we couldn’t get out of the car, put some weights in and I drove back home.
“At first I was bit annoyed, because it’s been four months without playing and now it’s lockdown for two weeks, despite the fact we’ve had three negative tests, but it’s a very small sacrifice to make in the grand scheme of things.”
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.