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London Irish winger Ollie Hassell-Collins is keeping prepared for Gallagher Premiership return

The league organisers are determined to finish the season when it is safe to do so

Ollie Hassell-Collins in action against Gloucester PIC: LONDON IRISH
Ollie Hassell-Collins in action against Gloucester PIC: LONDON IRISH

LONDON Irish winger Ollie Hassell-Collins is determined to keep his fitness levels high in case the Gallagher Premiership makes a return to action.

The sport’s top division was halted because of the coronavirus outbreak and Irish haven’t played since March 6.

However, unlike other leagues across the country where the season has been cancelled, the organisers are determined to complete the season when the situation improves.

Although Hassell-Collins wants to return to playing, he knows it’s not something that will be resolved quickly.

He said: “It is very frustrating and we’re all itching to get back out there, but ultimately we have to make sure that everyone stays safe and to stop this spreading.

“We all need to be prepared in case the season does restart and that’s making sure we stay at match fitness so that we’re not behind.

“Personally I’ve managed to stay motivated because I don’t want to be behind other people fitness-wise.”

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic season for the Exiles and is currently joint-top try-scorer in the division with seven.

He said: “I’ve been keeping up with my extras and analysis work just so that I’m still learning the game so it can keep me on it and engaged in rugby.

“It would be good to get some more games as we were improving so much as team in each game.”

Irish, who are in eighth place in the league, still have nine rounds of fixtures left to play so Hassell-Collins has been keeping in contact with his teammates.

He said: “It is important that you keep those connections within the team, I’ve been keeping in touch with a few of the boys.

“Everyone is coping with it in a different way, but I think it’s important that we as a team stay connected with each other.”

With lockdown affecting the whole country, the former St Bartholomew’s pupil has explained how he’s keeping busy.

He said: “I’ve been doing workouts and running most mornings and then in afternoon I’ve been learning a bit of French.

“I am also doing a property management course and signed up for a nutrition course, and then I’ve got my Xbox to keep me busy as well.”

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