RUGBY union has suffered more than most sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no competitive action to speak of since last March, other than at elite level.

But with games starting to come thick and fast, Keighley head coach Dan McGee can see light at the end of the tunnel.

The Yorkshire Two season is set to get underway as normal in September too, with new players set to make their bow, and existing squad members getting some vital match practice elsewhere.

A content McGee said: “We’ve got quite a good diary of events going on. We’re playing in a sevens tournament up at Baildon this weekend, which will give the more agile lads the chance to test themselves.

“We’ve been doing some inter-club games, just to get more of the lads down, and to have a more realistic contest, to increase practice and contact.

“The firsts have a friendly at home to Burnley on July 29, and then we face Old Rishworthians and Bradford Salem in August.

“It’s a nice build up to get us ready for the season, which from what we know, will start as normal.

“Hopefully scrums and everything should come back in, and the fixtures have been put out now, and it’s set to be a normal league, before a restructure the year after.

“We’ve got a local derby at home to Baildon the first game of the season too so we’re looking forward to that.”

Many rugby league sides have been back in competitive action since May, and some of McGee’s charges have been making the most of that.

He explained: “We kept a few lads at the club, as we wanted to manage them ourselves, with regards to fitness and getting ready for our season.

“But a couple of our props, John Gibson and Andrew Heys, have been turning out for Keighley Albion, as has our flanker Lucas Uren.

“But I’ve made it clear they’re our boys and they’ll be back for the start of our season.”

There are some new faces too, with McGee saying: “We’ve got a couple of Wharfedale lads in Tom White and Ollie Snowdon, who joined us a while back, but haven’t had a season with us yet.

“They’ll be really good additions to our back row and we’ve got a lad called Sam Cleaver, who’s a prop that’s come over from Lancashire.

“He’s a fantastic addition for us up front too.”

And those new faces will get to run out in front of ‘The Terrace’, an ongoing project which will offer more space for spectators and big events at the club.

An impressed McGee said: “Our director of rugby Russ Gibson has been working hard with volunteers at the club, and it should be a good addition to our already fantastic facilities.

“There’s still a few weeks to go but it will be done in time for the new season.

“It’ll be a good place for our supporters to come down and hopefully watch some winning rugby.”