Frain feeling positive after shoulder operation

With the Women’s Super League season on hold, the Leeds Rhinos Women’s team have had to wait a long time to get the chance to defend the title they won back in October, but despite the frustrations, young second rower Elle Frain is making the most of the enforced break to recover from shoulder injury.

“I think the past few months have been challenging but I think I have benefited from it too,” said the former Dewsbury Moor player. “It’s given me chance to concentrate on my fitness and things that I need to improve on and it’s also given me chance to sort my shoulder injury out too.

“I have struggled with my shoulder for a while and it got worse last season and I dislocated it in February and that’s when I got an MRI on it and it showed that all the cartilage in my shoulder had gone away so I had keyhole surgery on it to bring the cartilage back round to the bone.

“It’s feeling stronger already, I am only five weeks in and it’s a twelve week recovery but I can already feel an improvement, but I am a while away yet.  I am not ready yet, but I am looking forward to getting back to full body contact training.”

For the whole squad training has taken on a different look this year, with the players having to rely on sessions via Zoom until recently.  Elle says now that they are able to meet up in person in small groups is making a big difference.

“We have all had to adjust to a different training environment and training,” she said.  “I have been training on my own and recently we have met up in small groups and that feels good.  Training together brings back a bit of normality and when you are with your team mates you are always pushing each other and are encouraged to be the best you can be and it helps you a lot physically and mentally. You can have on and off days where you might think ‘can I be bothered today’ but when you are alongside your team mates it helps get that motivation back.”

Picture by Isabel Pearce/ – 11/10/2019 – Rugby League – Women’s Super League Grand Final – Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos – The Totally Wicked Stadium, Langtree Park, St Helens, England – Leeds win the Women’s Super League Grand Final.

With no set date for the return of the Women’s competitions the pre season for the Champions is even longer than usual and Elle says that has been challenging.

“It is difficult when you are training and there is no date to be working to in terms of a return to playing.  It’s all a bit unknown at the minute but I think our motivation as a team is that we are always aiming to be the best we can be and be ready for it when the season restarts.

“It has been such a long time since our last game and the highs of last season and we have struggled a bit with not being able to get back to action and defend our title, but it’s just one of those things that life throws at you and everyone is facing different challenges at this time.  I think in these troubling times the team that can overcome this is going to be the best team.”

Away from rugby, for the last two years Elle has been studying for her A-Levels, which is another thing which has been disrupted due to COVID-19.

“This has been my last year of A-Levels at Notre Dame, where I have been studying Law, Psychology and English Language . It has been a little stressful as we haven’t known what would happen in terms of results as they have been left in hands of exam boards and the government.  It was also strange to leave college and not really have a proper end to it as we didn’t know what was going to happen, so it was a strange that we had spent two years together and then had to leave in a hurry.”

With results now in and training back in some capacity, Elle says she is grateful that there is some normality returning and is making plans for the future.

“I have decided not to go to University this year and am looking to do a degree apprenticeship with the police.  I had my interview for last week, so hopefully I will hear about that soon.

“It does feel in some ways some things are returning to a bit of normality. All the girls are a on a group text chat and we can now message to meet and do some training together which is good and we are all just looking forward to when we can play again.”