Despite weighing in at just on 90kg and below the six-foot barrier in height, Wests Tigers fullback Corey Thompson says he's enjoying the return to contact drills after the side's first session on Monday.
Not allowed to perform the contact drills in the side's first week back, a change in NRL guidelines over the weekend allowed for Thompson to join his Wests Tigers teammates in getting back to the swing of regular rugby league training.
And while his body might be feeling it now, Thompson said it was something he had been looking forward to after missing training with teammates in the break.
“It was definitely tough — I might need to jump on some anti-inflammatory tonight and have an ice bath,” joked Thompson.
“It’s good to have that contact back because we play a physical game.
"It was hard trying to avoid each other for the past couple of weeks.
“Today wasn’t a complete contact training session — we got bodies in front and just tapped the knee [of the attacker]. We don’t want to go from nothing to full-on contact straight away because that’s when some injuries happen.
“But it was good to get a run out. We did some left-edge against right-edge and some 13 v 13 so it was good."
With just over two weeks until the resumption of the 2020 season, Thompson acknowledged that the shortened preparation would have some impact on team's abilities to get a full training load under their belts, but said there would still be plenty of time for the side to get up and running with the heavy hitting.
“Tomorrow [we'll be on] if Madge gets his way,” Thompson joked.
“The boys were hitting each other hard and wrapping it up but we’re not being silly. You don’t want people coming in flying at their knees and having an injury, so [we'll do some of that] later on when the knees are adjusted to changing direction and boys coming in putting pressure on them.
“It’s hard to replicate the contact and skill work when you’re by yourself because uou can really only run around by yourself.
"It’s hard to measure the intensity we get at training.”
“We have 30-odd players that are all brought in to this new, strange season and every day is game day for the boys that aren’t picked. We’ve got to make sure that boys that aren’t playing are involved as well and that helps us all be better."