THE Bulls admit it is great to be back as the first Championship club to return to training.

John Kear’s squad have all been cleared to work twice a week at their Tong base under strict COVID regulations.

All the players and staff must adhere to the RFL guidelines – but they are making the most of it after spending nearly eight months in limbo away from rugby.

Chief executive Mark Sawyer said: “It’s going very well and the lads are really pleased they are back.

“It’s not full training like it would normally be because of rules and regulations. You are limited to what training is allowed by the COVID policy.

“But I think people just appreciate the opportunity to do what they can.

“There’s been a 100 per cent turn-out from all the players. There isn’t anybody who has not turned up and the feedback is extremely positive.

“The job retention scheme allows that flexibility of bringing people back just on limited hours.

“It’s quite simply given everybody a lift, the players and the coaching staff.

“I was speaking to John and he can’t believe what a difference it has made to everybody.”

Unlike before games, the players and staff are not required to be tested at training. But Sawyer insists they are sticking to the return to train protocol to the letter.

“We’ve got some very strong policies in there which everyone is following,” he added.

“The organisation behind that has been second to none. John has ensured that staff and player safety is the number one priority.

“There would be a testing process if you were to return to playing matches. That’s not the case at the moment.

“But everybody knows that they need to dot the I’s and cross the T’s for the show to stay on the road. We’ve seen what has happened in rugby union last week.

“Everyone is doing their part. I think they’ve missed it so much that they won’t want to lose it again.”

Other clubs are set to follow the Bulls and go back next month. There is also a crucial two-day meeting involving the Championship and League One at the end of next week.

Among the items on a busy agenda will be the TV rights and a possible plan to start the season in March with cup games before the league. Sky have the broadcasting rights to the Championship but clubs could stream cup ties behind closed doors.

Sawyer said: “It's the main meeting of the year and there are a lot of things to discuss. Clubs just want to get back.

“Things are very difficult but we want to show that the intent is there to get back playing again.”