MALTON and Norton RUFC returned to small-grouped training on Tuesday for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fitness rather than technical skill was the aim of the sessions, which were led by new head coach Alex Crockett.

“Currently, we can do fitness training in small groups,” he said. “There’s a limited amount of shared equipment and we’ve got to take all of the precautions needed.

“We’ve just got to use any form of training as a positive, not necessarily just to get back fit, but hopefully to get the whole club back in training.

“When you’re doing contact, it’s quite hard to get mixed abilities, and age groups involved because it can become dangerous. But now, we can get everyone involved.

“We can pull the whole club together, so we’ve got to use that as a positive.

Former Premiership centre Crockett was only appointed to his role last month and is excited to get going, whenever full training and matches return.

“It’s a shame that we don’t really know when that’s going to be and everything is up in the air,” he said.

“It’s a strange one because you don’t know whether a return is around the corner or a long way away.

“But, I’m excited to get going having spoken to a few of players and backroom staff and others at the club.

“I can sense the passion from them and how much it means to everyone. That has rubbed off on myself as a newcomer.”

On the coronavirus pandemic, he added: “For the players, you need a short-term goal to be training for. Some players don’t like to train just for the case of it, you need that match at the end of the week to see the fruits of your labour.

“Also, the club is big because of the community. For the players, the club is their social life, where they catch up with their friends and enjoy spending time down at the club after working hard all week.”