Spread across Australia, Melbourne Rebels players are trying to keep some routine and normality in the midst of a very abnormal Super Rugby season.

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The Rebels were hitting their straps when the competition was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic and skipper Dane Haylett-Petty says they are determined to hit the ground running when they finally get the green light to play again.

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“We’ve tried to keep it structured on purpose,” Haylett-Petty told AAP.

“Rugby players are used to having structure and we thought it was going to be really important that the boys keep that structure.”

Moving home to Perth, the Wallabies back is up most days before dawn to jump on a Zoom call among his pod of 10 Rebels players with coaches allocated to each.

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They are given a running program each morning and they report back on their progress before they complete gym sessions dependent on what equipment they have available.

“At the moment I think it’s going pretty well and everyone is still really engaged and enjoying the challenge,” Haylett-Petty said.

“The difficult bit is that we’re used to having a deadline we’re working toward and it’s obviously open-ended at the moment.

“You don’t want to hurt your chances for when we do come back and play so I’m sure the boys will put the work in even though at times it will be a bit of a grind.”

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Haylett-Petty spends his time away from training working in two family businesses, which was a major reason for his shift back from Melbourne.

His younger brother Ross, who also plays for the Rebels, has remained in the Victorian capital after fracturing his ankle at training just before time was called on the season.

The lock underwent surgery about two weeks ago and is looking at three months rehabilitation.

The 30-year-old Haylett-Petty said he could draw on his experience during his time with the Western Force, facing uncertainty before their axing from Super Rugby at the end of 2017.

“It gives you perspective as there are a lot of people doing it a lot tougher than us not being able to play the game we love,” Haylett-Petty said.

“You know it’s going to be alright in the end, even though it’s not an ideal situation.”

– AAP

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