378 days. That’s how long it has been since Jordan Rankin last kicked a ball in anger.
Running out onto a sunny Bankwest Stadium for the Parramatta Eels in the New South Wales Cup is the first competitive football he has experienced since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The previous round has been washed out due to torrential rain, so Rankin’s first competitive outing in blue and gold will be at a picturesque Bankwest in round three of the 2021 season.
Standing on the 40 metre line before kick-off, he’s probably thinking about how quickly everything changed in the previous 12 months.
He last played for the Castleford Tigers in the English Super League on 15th March 2020.
When COVID-19 hit England and forced the shut down of the Super League season, Rankin packed his bags and headed back to Australia. Although, it wasn’t the pandemic that forced him home. Instead, it was a family decision.