HI or bonjour! It’s Eorl here.
Our annual trip to Catalan Dragons throws up a number of different challenges for us.
For starters, there’s all the travel that’s involved, followed by having to get used to sleeping in a different bed and sharing a room with a teammate you hope doesn’t have a foghorn for a snore.
You then have to deal with the unique atmosphere inside the ground and take on a Dragons side that’s always fired-up when playing on home turf.
Those are always major hurdles to overcome, but there’s another even bigger obstacle that stands in the way for certain members of our squad – those who are part of our ‘Fear of Flying’ club, which is so masterfully led by Larne Patrick.
Larne may be as tough as teak on the field of play, but as soon as he gets on an aeroplane he becomes a quivering wreck.
Kev Brown is another who finds flying should be something to be avoided at all costs, but he’s still nowhere in the same league as the unfortunate Larne.
Take it from me, if you’ve got a fear of flying yourself, just go and take a look at Larne on a plane and you’ll soon realise you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. There’s no way you’ll be as bad as our lightning prop.
But what doesn’t help Larne when it comes to take-off time is his teammates knowing how he feels – because that’s why Broughy likes sitting behind Larne and shaking the back of his seat when the plane is building up speed ready to get off the ground!
It’s already become a bit of a tradition, and a plane trip for the Giants already wouldn’t be the same without this happening.
And I’m afraid I’ve also got a bit of a confession to make. I also like winding up the fear-of-flying brigade.
Yes, I know I shouldn’t do it and I’m showing my lack of compassion here.
But it is fairly funny and helps the journey pass that little bit quicker.
On top of that, Larne is ok once we’re airborne, although the fact he never stops eating throughout the flight is probably his way of overcoming the nerves.
And may be that’s also a good way of making sure he’s full of energy for when we get to Catalan, because it’s vital our forwards are firing on all cylinders to get the better of the Dragons pack.
In fact, with that being the case, it might not be a bad thing for all of us to eat well and build ourselves up for what we all know will be a very physical battle.
Because we know we need to do whatever it takes to make sure victory is ours later today.