If anything, Sarah Hunter, England’s 15-a-side captain and No 8, is physically fitter than her male counterpart of the amateur era – someone like Dean Richards, in the late 1980s.
Or maybe the great ‘Deano’ is a poor example: he famously left a rowing machine delivered to him by the Rugby Football Union in its box in the corner of his garage.
Rugby league players are such extraordinary all-round athletes that even the world’s best professional sportspeople bow down before them.
Tour de France-winning cyclist and Wigan Warriors fan Sir Bradley Wiggins has called rugby league “the hardest sport in the world,” while Olympic bronze medal-winning triathlete and Leeds Rhinos supporter Jonny Brownlee says simply: “They are all as hard as nails.” Rugby league players run up to 9km during an 80-minute game, experience fewer energy-restoring stops for set pieces than their colleagues in rugby union, and endure repeated collisions with opponents at an impact of up to 10G - which is similar to that of a car crash.
Additional gains in strength come from adapting these exercises over time.
“We like to use small variations of our main lifts, such as box squats, band-assisted bench presses and trap-bar deadlifts,” reveals Dams.
“Distance runs, 1,000 meter shuttles, partner runs, sprints,” says Suhy, a Buckeye as well as a member of the United States Army.They had a short-lived romance but they ended up separating due to their busy schedules.Prior to that, she dated her “Made in Chelsea” co-star Josh Shepherd for several months in 2015.The tempo starts slow, and gradually increases until the athletes are moving at sprint speed, which ensures that each rep will be tougher than the last.“In theory, a couple people finished them,” says Suhy.