Scunthorpe rugby union forwards will continue to step up to the plate
One step forward thanks to moving two rows back.
Former Scunthorpe RUFC prop Nick Syddall insists he has relished his switch from the front row to the back – despite having had to sacrifice his summer in a bid to get in shape.
The Haxey-based forward, now in his fifth season at Heslam Park, spent the close season training four or five times a week at the gym and as well as improving his fitness has lost more than two stone in weight.
While still learning the position of flanker, Syddall believes his skills are more than suited to his new role.
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"It's a big change for me, but I'm really, really enjoying it," said Syddall, who has also had to overcome injury this term, having strained ankle ligaments during pre-season.
"Tim (coach Tim Robinson) said to me at the end of last year that he wanted to play me in the second row or back row and lead from the front.
"It's a real learning curve for me this season.
"Obviously I've played front row all my life, so to be thrown in at the deep end has been tough.
"But there's a lot of good players around me, people like Cal Davies and Jake Barron, who have bags of experience, so I talk to them about my game.
"My game has always been about getting around the park, carrying ball and making tackles. Even as a front row I was mobile.
"Bringing me back releases me from the scrummage so I can get into the game a lot quicker. It frees my legs up too.
"I was a bit worried about the extra running when I was asked last year, but I think my fitness has held up all right."
Syddall believes the Greens' park can drive them forward this season – in more ways than one.
Lacking the size and experience of the front rows at the top end of the table, Scunthorpe have been overpowered in several matches this season.
But the former Doncaster Academy player believes last weekend's forward-orientated success against Broadstreet can be a turning point for his side.
All of Scunthorpe's three tries against the Coventry club came from members of the home pack – the same amount as they had mustered in the first nine games of the season.
The standard, Syddall says, has been set.
"A lot of teams in this league, like Sutton Coldfield, South Leicester and Ampthill, all have really strong, experienced packs," explained the 23-year-old.
"It's about matching up to these sides and I think we're starting to take that on board.
"From two or three seasons ago there's been a big turnaround in the forward pack. There aren't many players who were there then that are now.
"I think we're starting to step into the boots we need to be in and make big strides.
"Earlier on in the season we did have a few games where we let the team down a bit, but we've consciously looked at working hard.
"Tim said to us we needed to get back to basics and put in a strong performance and I think we really did that on Saturday.
"We worked against a real aggressive pack and we performed to the highest we could. Scoring three tries in a match is unheard of for forwards.
"We'd definitely stood up to be counted and we know that needs to continue. I think it will do."