WE'RE all desperate for lockdown to be eased and to get back to some sort of normality, and having a date in the diary to aim for and a countdown to a fixture will really focus minds and bodies after weeks of uncertainty.

The last time we trained as a Dragons squad was in mid-March and we’re watching other sports and government reports with interest as they gradually inch towards a return.

We understand that it’s hard to provide clarity at the moment but if it is to be regional derbies in August, then great.

We’re keen to play for our own sakes but also for the benefit of the game, getting some revenue back into the sport.

Being able to work back from a date to get ourselves in shape, mentally and physically, is the first step towards playing and what better fixtures for all to enjoy than against our Welsh rivals.

South Wales Argus:

At the moment we are all ticking over while training on our own – it’s still runs around the Cwmbran Boating Lake and weights in a carport for me – and staying in touch on Zoom as a team and smaller working groups.

We’re doing what most of the population have now resorted too for isolation fun - quizzes in all different forms, bake-offs and even TikTok challenges have happened, which is a challenge when you are the wrong side of 30!

Most days we have basic updates about how our training is going, but it’s a bit like Groundhog Day after... I don’t know, how many weeks? I honestly couldn’t tell you!

It’s tough and can become a bit of a grind without that end goal to work towards, so when that decision is make I’m sure it will lead us to ramp up our training.

The plans are to slowly integrate back and establish our training routines so that it’s not too much of a shock to the system.

The idea is that we will get some facilities available in the coming weeks so that we can train together in small groups and get back into the rhythm of things.

As a squad we live from one end of the M4 in west Wales to the east, so training in isolated groups at various venues is a plan that has been suggested.

Everyone is keen to get back playing, but we all have different personal circumstances.

There are those that live with people who are in the vulnerable category or those who live with people that have been working in the front line.

Some players, even though they are professional sportsmen, might have underlying health issues.

We’ll all have to weigh things up when the time comes and everyone knows that safety is paramount for the squad and those at home when things gradually ramp up towards a return.

South Wales Argus:

It will be a logistical challenge as protocols will be strict to ensure minimal risk for all staff. I think that training in gyms two metres apart will be manageable but, as it is a contact sport with the need to prepare the body for physical demands, there will be interesting obstacles in several weeks’ time.

We know that getting back towards some sort of normal is vital for the finances of professional rugby.

Fixtures will hopefully satisfy broadcast partners, who are the main source of income since it seems rugby and many team sports won’t be played in front of crowds this year.

I’m one of the Dragons’ representatives on the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association and a statement was made on Monday night about the prospect of addressing the financial situation of the game.

Our aim is to represent the players well and be open, honest and up front. Discussions had been going well initially and the relationship with the Professional Rugby Board has improved dramatically over the past couple of months.

I think that it’s fair to say that this time last year, after all the talks of the banding and the Ospreys-Scarlets merger, there were a lot of questions that needed to be addressed going forward.

But things are better than that now and hopefully we can work together to find a solution, because we want to come out of the pandemic with everything in place.

We were happy to help out in April with the agreement for pay cuts while also being furloughed for three months, as nobody wants any clubs to collapse because of financial problems.

My concern is also for the community game as I still work closely with my old club Newport High School Old Boys.

What a turbulent year it has been after having other serious issues with the clubhouse, to now have no games being played for the rest of the season and unlikely this side of Christmas. These clubs will be in dire need of support from the local community.

We are well aware of that and keen to help out if we can, but we also need to ensure there is positive change to find sustainable solutions for the future of the game.