JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

England squad put through pain barrier


Gavin Mairs

The scars of training ... Tom Palmer with headgear and bandage at camp England.

The scars of training ... Tom Palmer with headgear and bandage at camp England. Photo: Getty Images

England players were still feeling the bruises on Thursday two days after the most brutal training session of Stuart Lancaster's tenure, which was designed to ensure that the squad meet head-on the expected Australia backlash at Twickenham tomorrow.

Lancaster described the Tuesday training session as "the best that I have seen", while the players spoke with enthusiasm of the intensity of the collisions, one of which left lock Tom Palmer requiring stitches to a cut near his eye.

"It was up there in intensity in any of the sessions that I have seen," -Lancaster said. "I don't think we will be lacking for that. We had 30-odd players training - including some very good players who aren't in the squad - and we had 15 on 15 and it was very, very competitive."

Prop Joe Marler said the session had been split between unit work during the morning, with the forwards focusing on scrummaging and mauling, before the whole quad came together for 90 minutes of defensive training in the afternoon, finishing off with a short match session.

"It was probably the most physical session I have had with this group," said Marler, who will win his fifth cap tomorrow, and his first against Australia. "Let's just say I was pleased we had a day off today.

"We got these new suits to prevent injuries but they actually mean you can probably go a little bit harder. Tuesdays are always big sessions but everyone had that sort of feeling that it was good at the weekend against Fiji but there wasn't as much satisfaction from it.

"We know that Australia are going to pick up their game [after their heavy defeat by France] - England v Australia has always been a big -fixture.

"Sometimes Stuart comes in and speaks during the session but we didn't hear a lot from him because we were just cracking on with it and he was pleased with it."

Tom Johnson, the Exeter flanker, said he was "still a bit sore" from the session but added that it had given the squad confidence that they were ready to face the greater attacking threat of Australia.

"I think the boys were a little bit disappointed that we let in two tries against Fiji," said Johnson, who saw off the challenge of Tom Wood to retain his place on the blindside flank.

"With Australia coming to town, it [training] just got ramped up a little bit. I think it was just setting the mind and body prepared for what is going to be a huge, huge clash. The coaches dangled the carrot and said, 'We need to be better', and then the players and the leadership group took it on themselves and it was flat out from the off - everyone was switched on.

"Quite often in defence sessions, you get the attack running through at 70 per cent, but the boys were really going after each other, which was really good."

Wood was another who relished the physicality of the session. "I do enjoy those kind of sessions. It felt almost like a game," he said. "Tom Palmer unfortunately got a split eye and there were people bleeding and limping around and taking bangs, but nobody was complaining it was too brutal.

"It was what we need going into these games. There is no point keeping everyone fresh and pampering everybody and then going into the game and then getting beaten up.

"We just need to make sure that when we beat the life out of each other on a Tuesday we take it into the game on a Saturday and make sure Australia feel it as well."

The Telegraph, London

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers