England news: Eddie Jones reveals revolutionary method to bring the best out of his side | Rugby Union | Sport

1 month ago

The ever-inventive head coach revealed that he is considering taking Owen Farrell and company to a unique training camp in Georgia in the middle of the Six Nations Championship.

His idea is for England to have a practice match against the fast-improving Georgians, perhaps in February between the Six Nations matches at home to Wales and away to Scotland.

“We have a few ideas up our sleeve,” said Jones with a glint in his eye. “Tbilisi is a nice place at this time of year. It’s cold but it has great red wine, the meat is good and there are Roman baths.”

The serious intent behind the jolly facade is that Jones wants to get away from the usual routines and to challenge his players.

“I want to improve our training and that is one thing we are looking at,” he said. “How can we get a higher quality of opposition in training?

“Georgia would be great because they have a massive scrum; they have the strongest pack in the world. Their babies are born with beards!

“Our players absolutely loved it when we had a training session last year against Wales because, when they train, they want to get something out of it.

“If they want to just go through the motions they are the wrong players. They only way you get better is scrummage against people who are better than you.”

Jones has selected a 35-man squad for the opening Six Nations clash away to Italy in a fortnight’s time, including eight uncapped players like front-rowers Lewis Boyce and Alec Hepburn.

He says the first requirement for England is a hardness and toughness in a rugby player. Talent comes second.

“When I am assessing players it’s a bit like a race-horse trainer going to a yearling sale,” said Jones.

“There are certain things you look for. I look for physically tough players. The first thing I try to find out about a player is their background — where they are from, what they have done, how they carry themselves, their physical size, the way they look at other players on the field.

“Don’t get me wrong; club rugby is important. But you can be a very good club rugby player and it doesn’t make you a good international. An international player is tougher — it is much tougher.”