Rugby

Eddie Jones To Take England 3,500 Km Across Europe For Training

Eddie Jones To Take England 3,500 Km Across Europe For Training

Entering his third year as head coach of England's rugby team, the Australian Eddie Jones has hitherto overseen a period of impressive success.

With the exception of their defeat to Ireland in Dublin at the tail-end of last year's Six Nations, Jones' England have won the remaining twenty-two games played. Although they are yet to test their mettle against the all-conquering New Zealand, Jones has previously lead Australia to five wins from eleven games against the All-Blacks.

As he prepares England for a potential second successive Six Nations defence, Jones was speaking to The Observer about some of the unusual lengths he goes to in ensuring his players are ready to meet his unwavering demands.

Discussing a period during the upcoming Six Nations where England will have "a couple of fallow weeks" without a game, Jones is considering taking his side 3,500 kilometres across the face of Europe:

Tbilisi is a nice place at this time of year. It is cold and we could potentially do that. It has great red wine and the meat is good.

In reality, it is Georgia's "massive scrum and ... strongest pack in the world" that Jones wants to test his charges against.

In a country where "babies ... are born with beards", Jones believes that such sessions heighten the impact of their training - and training is certainly something he doesn't take lightly. It is a belief he is striving to impart upon his occasionally reluctant side:

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I don't understand that in English rugby. I really struggle with the notion that when you train hard you are 'beasting' the player. It is a contradiction in terms: the game is hard, it tests you all the time.

So if you don't prepare for that, how do you expect to win? You can have nice, soft training sessions, but you won't win.

Having previously undertaken such training trips against members of the Welsh national side, Jones is entertaining the option again - although one particular side is less likely than most to indulge:

We are just planning at the moment: we also have a good relationship with Scotland, Wales and Italy; don't know about Ireland.

As yet the only side to overcome Jones' otherwise unbeaten England, it is safe to say that the Australian has his eyes firmly set on the final weekend of this year's Six Nations, when Joe Schmidt's Ireland will travel to Twickenham for a potential Grand Slam decider.

See Also: 7 Leinster Players Who Used Today As Their Six Nations Audition

Arthur James O'Dea

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