Hi, it’s Eorl here.
First of all, apologies for not doing the column last week.
Because of my England commitments, I didn’t spend any time at the Giants so couldn’t really fill you in on what’s been going on behind the scenes.
And I’m afraid it’s a similar sort of story this week as well. After being with England I was given five days off in order to re-charge the batteries and only returned to training yesterday to prepare for tomorrow’s big home game against Leeds Rhinos.
But I didn’t think it would be fair to let little Luke Robinson do three columns on the trot. Robbo needs to start conserving his energy.
And after what I’ve heard about training at the Giants at the start of this week, I think Robbo probably deserves a rest. From what I can gather, the work’s been that hard that focusing on handing out Helmet awards was shoved to the back of the queue.
The boys have been worked exceptionally hard this week, with one of the toughest conditioning sessions of the year on Tuesday followed by some high-quality, high-intense training runs.
In some respects, I’m glad I was able to sit this week out!
Having said that, I’m now coming to the stage of my career where I’m given a say on what I do during training, so I may not have actually done the full session anyway.
Given my still fresh-faced looks, some of you may be surprised to know I’m now 31, which means my training is all about self-preservation.
Over the years, I’ve learned how hard I can push myself and exactly what I need to do to ensure I’m in the best possible shape when matchday arrives.
Overall, I think I’ve managed that process fairly well. Put it this way, I still feel as fresh as ever and I’m certainly looking forward to ripping in against the Rhinos.
Games against Leeds are always really special, and the fact we’re going for a hat trick of wins against them this year probably makes tomorrow even more exciting.
I’ll obviously be coming face to face with some of the boys who were with me with the England squad last week.
I suppose some of you may think that when we’re in the England camp there’s a fair bit of banter between the players from different clubs.
You may think there’d be talk from the Giants boys – Leroy Cudjoe, Brett Ferres and myself – directed towards the Leeds lads saying we’ll be doing this, that and the other to them tomorrow.
But it’s genuinely not like that at all.
As soon as we get into the England camp, all the focus is on England and nothing else. We immediately become ‘Team England’ and everything else is forgotten.
It’s a mindset that’s been in existence for about five or six years.
Most of the current England crop have been together since then, and we do meet up regularly during a season for training and team-bonding purposes. It means we are a very close-knit group.
As a result, it means that when we’re with England we are brothers-in-arms, even though we could be going to Super League war against each other the following week.
It’s funny how in the space of nine days the Huddersfield and Leeds players can go from the best of friends to the best of enemies, but that’s how it is.
I’m just sorry for them that tomorrow the Giants boys will be laughing and the Leeds lads will crying!