JOHN Kear hopes lockdown won’t be rubbish for the Bulls – by introducing dustbin drills.

The Bulls coach and his staff are trying to keep the players physically and mentally stimulated through the sport’s extended shutdown.

The coronavirus pandemic restrictions have not stopped them from coming up with a range of different suggestions to ensure the squad can remain as active as possible.

Kear has been thinking outside the box to vary the practice programme, even using the dustbin for a stay-at-home passing routine.

He said: “We’ve given them some skill drills they can obviously do by themselves. We’ve had them targeting dustbins with their passing and so forth.

“I thought the days of the pass to the wheelie bin were long gone. It’s going back to when I lived down Wheldon Road and was passing against the wall.

“We’ve tried to be as inventive as we possibly can. They’ve had specific drills to do at home individually that involve hand and eye coordination.

“They’ve obviously had some running work to do as part of their hour’s exercise and some body weight exercises to do as part of the weight regime.”

The Bulls last played on Friday, March 13 when they ran Super League Wakefield so close to an upset in the Challenge Cup.

The club have since introduced the furlough scheme in line with many others to protect jobs while the sport struggles to survive.

Talks continue with the government for a potential bail-out package as the financial fears of receiving no income threaten clubs at all levels.

Chief executive Mark Sawyer has admitted that rugby league have a fight on their hands to come through this. But Kear appreciates the way the owners have continued to keep everyone at the club informed of the latest developments.

“I haven’t heard one dissenting voice among the staff or the players,” he added.

“The players and staff have got a WhatsApp group and everything and they are doing really well.

“They appreciate all the efforts that are being made by the owners and they appreciate the honest and open communication that has taken place.

“We’re in a good place considering.

“They’ve been told what is happening throughout and because of that honest and open communication, they have been very supportive.

“The best companies are the ones that are kept up-to-date from those at the top. The communication from the owners has been very transparent, open and honest all the way through and that’s a credit to them.”

Kear knows that the longer the lockdown goes on, the more challenging it will become for the players unable to get back out on the training field.

But he has been impressed with the collective attitude up to now during this unprecedented time.

“Credit to the staff who have been very proactive with their suggestions and credit to the players who keep sending WhatsApps of themselves doing the exercises.

“So, we’ve got a record that they are actually doing what we are asking of them.

“You need to keep mentally stimulated during all this and by doing these exercises and drills, I’m certain that’s what is happening.”