Rugby league has made Luther Burrell fitter than ever before

Warrington’s cross-code convert Luther Burrell says rugby league is leading the way in terms of strength and conditioning.

The 31-year-old has been training with the Wolves for a couple of weeks since joining on a two-and-a-half-year deal from rugby union side Northampton Saints.

Burrell admitted that he has been made to become much fitter since crossing codes.

He told BBC 5 Live’s Rugby League Podcast: “I’ve been training with these guys for two weeks and I know they’re a group of machines.

“I think there could be things that league could take from union but I’m not sure yet until I’ve been out on the field and witnessed the intensity and the matches.

“Pricey [Steve Price] said to me on the weekend ‘have you done much conditioning like that before?’ and I said ‘I haven’t trained this hard in a season ever’.

“They are machines and they are freaks. I think union is still learning from league.”

England rugby union coach Eddie Jones spent a day with Warrington earlier this year as he and Warrington boss Steve Price compared notes.

And Burrell revealed that he has had to become fitter than he ever has been since switching to rugby league.

He added: “Before I actually moved to Warrington, Eddie Jones [England RU coach] visited these guys and he said ‘good luck’ to me with it all and that he hoped it worked out for me.

“He did give me one piece of advice which was to add 20% on to any training that I do from now until the end of the [rugby union] season.

“From the minute that it was a done deal, I started topping up my fitness at the end of training sessions and I was getting a bit of stick for it because it became common knowledge then! Some of the lads were giving me a bit of grief when I was doing a bit of extra running but I do know what it is going to take to get there.

“It’s not just been a two-week process for me, I’ve been training to get my head around the game properly since March.”

To listen to the full BBC 5 Live Rugby League Podcast with Luther Burrell and Ade Gardner in full, click here.

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