WORCESTER Warriors players have returned to training for the first time in three months as the countdown to the return of top-flight rugby continues.
All Premiership and Championship clubs have been permission to start stage 1 of the Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance which which allows for individual conditioning – or groups of individuals conditioning – in a performance environment with strict social distancing maintained at all times.
The measures at Sixways include players training in small groups with staggered starts and a one-way system in operation through the High Performance Centre to the pitch then into the gym.
The new thermal screening system provided by Spookfish Innovations and the most advanced testing system in the Premiership, was also in use for the first time.
The technology uses industrial grade thermal cameras and intelligent machine learning to precisely measure temperatures at the inner corner of the eye – where the body temperature is most constant – to detect for fever which is a key indicator of the Coronavirus.
Warriors players also have a well-being app on their mobile phones which they have to complete before arriving for training each day.
“It’s really good to come back and see the boys, the energy was great. It’s nice to train in a proper environment instead of in my shed,” said Warriors prop Ethan Waller.
“The training is similar to a normal pre-season except it’s a bit more condensed and intense because we have time slots that we have to get in and out. The measures the club have put in place make you feel really safe coming back into the club.
“The thermal screening technology is another aspect which makes you feel safe coming in. Safety is paramount. You don’t want to be coming here risking yourself and possibly bringing something back to your family and loved ones.
“We’ve got that and also a symptom checker so that if anything is wrong we go straight back home.”
Premiership Rugby has set a target date of August 15 for the resumption of the 2019/20 season. The structure for the remainder of the campaign – for which the original date for the Premiership final was June 20 – will be released in due course.