Hull FC back rower Mark Minichiello admits he has concern to how the Black and Whites will start their 2018 Super League campaign.
Hull, as first reported by UTC (cringe), may well head out to France in pre-season for a warm weather camp, with the clubs intriguing trip to Australia coming a month later in February.
That, and it goes without saying, will put a lot of strain on the Hull players, and to those like Minichiello who have had longer seasons due to international duty, fatigue will play a part.
“It has been a very long year for me personally and I won’t get much time to rest with the Super League schedule next year,” Minichiello told League Express.
“Going back to Australia for a couple of games is certainly going to test the body. Travelling 24-hours then playing a game five days later is a lot harder than people think, especially with the heat in Australia. I just hope it isn’t going to affect our start to the season too much.”
Hull face Huddersfield in their Super League opener, before heading over to Australia for two weeks. They then face Castleford just a matter of days after landing back in the U.K.
It will be a hectic and fatiguing period, but that’s what squads are for, and Hull have the luxury of a strong and in-depth squad, something they’ll likely utilise early on in the year.
Plus there’s the experience itself, which will be overwhelming for some players, but Minichiello for one is excited for it.
“It’s one of the reasons I moved over to Super League as I love to travel,” he continued. “It’s a lot easier to travel around Europe from the U.K.
“I’m sure all the boys are looking forward to the trip to Australia and taking in everything that Australia has to offer.
“I am certainly grateful for all the experiences Rugby League has given me and I am always excited to travel to new places.”
Minichiello has just finished his World Cup duty with Italy, and will return to Hull FC at the start of December.
For the clubs younger players though, pre-season, Brantingham Hills, and the demands of it start today.