No stranger to sitting out NRL games, former premiership winning coach Shane Flanagan has offered some advice to players on how to endure the unprecedented season postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the ex-Cronulla mentor admits the game may take years to fully recover.
St George Illawarra assistant Flanagan is the first to admit he has spent his fair share of time on the NRL sidelines after being banned indefinitely in 2018.
He was suspended after being found to have contacted Sharks officials during his 2014 ban for his part in the club's peptides saga and limited to holding an assistant coaching position in 2020 and 2021 upon his reinstatement.
But Flanagan tried to find a positive from his career setback, offering advice to players on how to stay positive away from the game.
"You have to get some sort of routine. Sleep well at night that is the first thing," he told Fox League.
"Get up in the morning and get some exercise into you (then) whether it is personal development and study or doing jobs around the house and keep connected with your playing group.
"Most clubs have sent equipment home, set up a gym (at home).
"The players will be OK. Obviously the (potential) pay (cut facing players) is a bit of a concern but we will be ready to go as soon as they give us the green light."
The season postponement has been a double whammy for the Flanagan household.
Not only is the Dragons assistant in limbo but also his son, Sydney Roosters halfback Kyle, who still lives at home.
However Flanagan reckoned other players and clubs would be doing it tougher as the NRL tries to rebound from the pandemic.
"He (Kyle) is OK but there are guys in the squad have got big mortgages, and wondering what is next with a wife and young kids," he said.
"I worry for those boys.
"I am hopeful all clubs get through. We will play up to Christmas Day if we have to.
"Next year we will be back but it will take a couple of years to recover from this."
Australian Associated Press