Widnes’ Phil Joseph to take up boxing in off-season

Rugby League players are known for doing a wide range of things during the off-season – but Widnes forward Phil Joseph is doing something very different, taking up boxing to stay in shape.

Joseph will be training in Salford full-time during the off-season to ensure he is in peak fitness for the start of the 2015 Super League season, insisting that RL remains his priority.

And the forward has stressed to Vikings fans that he will be in “the shape of his life” when the new season rolls around, saying the whole club are supportive of his rather unique decision.

“Denis (Betts) is really supportive of this and he’s right behind me as he thinks it will enhance my strength and fitness capacity,” Joseph told the club’s official website.

“Boxing is how I lost a lot of weight and it’s helped me be in the position I’m in as it got me in shape to have another go at Super League with Widnes.

“I must stress to the fans that my Rugby League is the priority and I’ll be doing everything in the pre-season as I normally would. I’ll be working with Oliver (Harrison) on the boxing technique on top of the Vikings training so by the time Super League comes round I’ll be in the shape of my life.

“Once the season starts again my boxing will be on the back burner but I’ll be returning to it as it’s something I enjoy.”