Nov 07

England Pick Up Injuries at Controversial Training Camp

As the game of rugby becomes ever more competitive, it is no surprise to see teams pushed to their limit in training in a bid to ensure that they are sharper than any upcoming opponents.

The right amount of training is vital. Too little and performance drops; too much and there’s a risk of burn-out or injury, which is exactly what happened when England rugby coach Eddie Jones, who is well known for getting the most out of his players, took the national squad on a three-day training camp in Brighton for Judo sessions.

Former Olympian Kate Howey was tasked with teaching the England squad the art of Judo, with the aim of helping them with grappling in the tackle.

Trouble in Camp

The decision to involve Judo quickly backfired, as Sam Jones from Wasps broke his leg while grappling with Maro Itoje. Another injury saw Bath winger Anthony Watson fracture his jaw after a clash of heads.

Both Jones and Watson are out of the four tests with Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Fiji this autumn, and the injuries have caused fury among the players’ home clubs.

Bad Timing

Premiership Rugby, who are the body representing the top flight clubs in England, have criticised Eddie Jones for holding such a training camp between Premiership matches, though the training is in line with the £225m agreement made between the Rugby Football Union and the Premiership clubs, which allows England players to be released for the camps.

Despite the criticism, it would appear as though the use of Judo in training is here to stay, and given the abysmal 2015 World Cup performance, most fans of the game are happy to allow Jones, who has transformed England since he took over in November last year, to continue to use whatever methods he deems necessary.

The next camp is due in October, followed by a further one in January, though again these have caused dismay given their timing ahead of important domestic and European matches.

Given the daunting run of fixtures that awaits England over the next few months, it will be interesting to see if the results of Jones’ methods are seen on the pitch. If England can carry on their resurgence with positive results, it won’t be long before the hype returns and fans all over England buy rugby shirts ready to cheer their country to glory.

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