Wigan Warriors winger Josh Charnley has revealed how he started pre-season training earlier than the rest of the squad to get over the heartache of 2015.
Charnley was in and out of the Wigan team throughout last season, as he suffered a number of injuries and eventually missed out on England honours for the Test series against New Zealand.
But he is now fit and raring to go for the new season and ahead of the game after doing some training with a difference.
“Things are going well,” he said.
“Pre-season has been tough but it was the first time in around four years that I’ve been able to have a proper pre-season because of the international period and things like that, so this is a great opportunity to rip in properly from the start.
“I had four weeks off, then three weeks boxing training. You can’t take a backward step because these boys are pushing each other really hard, and it’s one of those where you need to be on top of your game.
“I’ve never done boxing training before, but it was really good for me and I seemed to fit into it pretty well. The guy who was training me said I was pretty good and he was trying to get me to give up rugby for it.”
Charnley pulled no punches when asked about last year, but insists he’s refreshed and is more confident than ever before.
“I’ve never picked up an injury before, so getting one, then another and then another is really frustrating. I got my hernia and then I did my knee and my ankle, and it was hard to get my head around it because I’m new to being injured.
“The boys were great in helping me through some low patches, because it can be tough when you’re in the gym on your own. It was so hard to get into the team when I got back. When I did, things just didn’t feel right. That’s all gone now though and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.
“There’s a different feeling this year; I feel miles better and I know how to cope with things.”
Charnley also insisted he never had any thoughts about moving on when the going was tough.
“I never thought about leaving here. I just had my head on and concentrated on getting fit again,” he insisted.
“It was annoying because it was setback after setback, but touch wood I’ll be fit and ready to go. The coaching staff have always been really supportive of me, and I’ve got a fantastic agency that looks after me too.”