Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has warned his players they are in for a tough pre-season.
Most of the first team squad returned to training on Monday and were put through their paces immediately with Powell keen to make sure the team hits the ground running when the 2016 Super League season begins next February.
The Tigers boss has been pleased with the attitude shown so far, but there is some hard work to come.
He told the Express: “The boys that are back in looked in pretty good shape in training in their first two days.
“Everybody’s had some time off and it’s into a really tough pre-season now.
“The first two days were really hard and the players have handled it well. They’ve looked good, they had a day off (on Wednesday) and were back into it on Thursday.
“It’s going to be a really tough pre-season this one. We recognise that we need to improve next year and try and take the next step so it’s an important pre-season for us.”
Powell revealed that a number of the first team players did not return to full training on Monday for a variety of reasons, including Luke Gale on international duty with England and Frankie Mariano, who has recovered from his long term injury, but was given a few extra days after getting married and going on honeymoon.
He said: “We’ve got a few that have got adjusted training after a few operations at the end of last year and a few who got injured late on.
“We’ve got some international players who’ve yet to come back in and a couple of players we’ve signed late on, people like Joel Monaghan who had prior engagements that dictated that they would be joining us a little bit later.”