While millions around the country are spending more time than they’d like to admit on their gaming consoles during isolation, Alex Moon is using it as a way to stay in contact with his Saints teammates.
The Northampton lock has added gaming into his daily schedule of working out in the garage and going for runs with housemate and teammate Rory Hutchinson.
Chris Boyd’s side were sitting fourth in Gallagher Premiership Rugby prior to the league’s postponement and Moon himself had earned his first England call-up for the Six Nations before he injured his knee against Bristol Bears in February.
But the time off has not just allowed Moon to concentrate on his rehabilitation; it has also enabled him to fine-tune his Call of Duty skills.
“The time off from a knee point of view has been good because there are no distractions,” the 23-year-old explained.
“When you are back at the Club, everyone is still doing everything, and you want to be involved but you can’t. Being at home, the physio has been really good – we have been doing FaceTime and I’m giving them videos of me doing the programme to see if I was doing it right.
“The aim was to come back with six or seven games left and do my best to see if I could get in contention for [England’s tour to] Japan.
“We have really good chemistry as a group and gaming probably had quite a big part to do with it.”Alex Moon
“I was buzzing, you have so much motivation when you are getting back to reach a goal. It was like a massive carrot dangling in front of me. Now, with having nothing to do rehab actually becomes quite fun but it has been strange.
“I am quite fortunate because I live with Rory, he has a garage out the back with hardly anything in so we cleared it out and we got a fair bit of equipment from the Club so we can do pretty much any gym session out there so I am training well.
“The Club has been very good as well. They check in regularly with us and are always providing information on the developing situation as well as assigning us weekly schedules on a Sunday to complete.”
But Moon has found the best way to chill out during his downtime is to jump online with teammates, maintaining a bond he has built over a sustained period of time.
“I am into Call of Duty at the minute,” he added. “I was trying not to give in to downloading it, but I got to Friday and just gave in. I am already level fifty or sixty in just two days – wow that means I have played a lot.
“It is a great way to socialise and stay in contact because when you are loading at the beginning you are not doing much so you just chat about things and catch up.
“There is a young core of us who are a similar age and have done everything together.
“We started playing when Fortnite came out, we would come home from training, go to a coffee shop and spend an hour with each other then go socialise online playing the game during the week before going out on the weekends together.
“We have really good chemistry as a group and gaming probably had quite a big part to do with it.”
Away from the games console, Moon is also trying to better himself at skills he has lost due to his commitment to rugby over the past few years, and is even going beyond his responsibility of keeping himself fit by studying.
“I am currently doing a personal training course which will lead to a sports science degree so I have been keeping busy with that and I have been brushing up on my French – I was good at it when I was younger but I have let it slide,” he said.
“I am struggling a bit with French, I was so persistent when I was younger when I had a tutor but trying to do it via mobile apps is a lot harder.”
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