WE HAVE now done our first full contact session with all the pads, armour and helmets and that’s given us rookies our first taste of real playing.

We all know it’s a contact sport and there are going to be some big hits, but it’s quite a lot for the body to endure as you’re charging around hitting each other.

I’m a lineman so I’m at the front of the heavy contact for all the team so by the end of two hours of training you can really feel it and your body has been through the mill.

Despite all that it’s really exciting because there were 68 players out on the field at once all in kit and there’s so much going on.

It’s a really involved team and there’s always people there giving support and advice when you’re running blocking drills or working on your tackling. We did lots of two on two work and the skills drills are really helpful because we need to get things right as there’s a lot of power and energy involved.

I have some quite impressive bruises on my shins and forearms because of the physicality, I’m pretty proud of them.

I wear a fitness tracker when I’m training down there and in a normal session I probably get through 3,500 calories so that just shows how hard we’re working and how demanding this sport is. You need a few days for your body to recuperate and prepare itself for the next one.

Now we’re getting really close to the start of the season and that’s really quite exciting. It’s starting to become all very real for everyone and we’re all just itching to get going.