Leeds Rhinos’ Luke Gale relishing the chance to work under England’s Andy Last and Shaun Wane

LEEDS RHINOS scrum-half Luke Gale is looking forward to hopefully linking up with new England assistant coach Andy Last, despite a painful reminder of their last meeting on the field.

LIONS' ROAR: Leeds Rhinos' Luke Gale is looking forward to training under England's Shaun Wane and Andy Last.

Hull FC interim head coach Last, 39, was named as one of Shaun Wane’s new deputies for the national team this week.

It is his first involvement with England at senior level and comes after a lifetime working in various roles at hometown Hull.

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Gale, who played for England in the 2017 World Cup final, has never worked with him before but does remember being on the end of a stellar display from the former hooker.

NEW APPOINTMENT: England assistant coach Andy Last

“When I was at Leeds first time around, I remember Lasty coming out of retirement to play scrum-half for Hull against us in an Academy Grand Final,” he said.

“And he killed it! I was speaking to (Hull and England prop) Scott Taylor about him and I do remember that game.

“We’d beaten Hull 1-0 in the 2006 Academy Grand Final and it was the following season Lasty ended up playing.

“He was their coach and I think he’d finished playing Super League a couple of years before but they had some injuries.

“He came in and truly was their main man as they won 38-22.

“Scott speaks highly of him and he’s been in the assistant role a fair few years now at Hull.

“He’s a real smart bloke and, along with Paul Wellens, I think they’re both great appointments.”

Former Man of Steel Gale, 31, is hoping Super League can get up and running again soon following last month’s shutdown due to the coronavirus but knows it could still be months before there is any sort of action.

England are due to play Australia in a three-Test home Ashes series in the autumn but for now, of course, that is still far from anyone’s minds.

Indeed, all players across Super League received letters this week from their clubs about pay-cut proposals as the pandemic goes on.

It is no different at Leeds where Gale said the squad are happy to help out – as long as it is only a temporary measure.

The former Castleford Tigers star said: “We all knew it was coming. Given the state of the world at the moment, it was inevitable really. And most of the boys do understand and are kind of happy with that.

“But I think what we’re trying to get in place is that, as soon as we do get back playing and back in training, those wage cuts are no longer.

“That’s what the boys are really keen on and, speaking to a lot of the lads throughout the league, that’s been mentioned throughout.

“I think that’s rightly so. Obviously, (if) we fulfil our fixtures, then the boys want to jump back to what our contracts are or, if not, at least be very close to that.

“But obviously for the next few months where we’re sat at home doing nothing we’re more than happy to take the hit and help save the game. That’s not an issue whatsoever.”

Players have already been furloughed with the country on lockdown for the last three weeks and now facing the same period of time shut down again.

With no income for clubs, it was obvious that pay cuts would eventually be made and Gale reiterated: “First of all, we are for it.

“Throughout the league, from club to club, it looks like people have been offered slightly different wage cuts but basically they are all similarly in line and with a review in June.

“If we’re playing again in July – that’s what we’re all hoping – and fulfilling our Sky games we’ve ticked that box.

“I don’t think there’ll be crowds so it’ll probably behind closed doors.

“But the boys are keen to say that, if we are playing and fulfilling our contractual agreement, then we are then paid accordingly. That’s when we should be getting back to our original contract.”

Gale started the season brilliantly after his big-money move from Castleford and, encouraginly after two years of injury torment, looked back to his best.

He was duly picked in Wane’s group of 31 “prospective Ashes candidates” and, therefore, is keen to resume where he left off when Super League does start up once more.

In the meantime, the former Bradford Bulls captain admits he has got used to training on his own – and is enjoying it.

“I live near Rothwell Park (in Leeds) and I do some running sessions down there,” he said.

“They have a track designed for runners and I get down there after my breakfast. I have a bit of a gym at my house and I do quite enjoy it. I have the kids doing a bit with me in the garden, too.

“It’s important not just to road run. We had a text from our conditioner reminding us that we’re not trying to be Mo Farah and to remember we are professional rugby league players, not track and field athletes!

“He wanted to make sure we did our ups and downs and field running as well so I’ve been mixing that up.

“The most important thing of this isolation is a routine; we’re normally told what to do every single day of the week so we work to schedule and the first couple of weeks I did struggle.

“But as soon as you work that schedule and get into a bit of a routine it’s nice and easy.”