Jones tells re­called Cipri­ani to leave his din­ner suit at home

Eng­land coach pre­par­ing for con­di­tions at Ja­pan 2019 by turn­ing up heat on hu­mid­i­fier in train­ing

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RUGBY - PAUL REES

THE heat is on Ed­die Jones, af­ter three suc­ces­sive de­feats in the Six Na­tions ended his long hon­ey­moon, and it will be turned on his Eng­land squad when they pre­pare for next month’s three-Test tour of South Africa with a ma­chine hu­mid­i­fy­ing the in­door train­ing fa­cil­ity at their base in Bagshot.

The head coach has next year’s World Cup in mind more than the al­ti­tude for their first two matches against the Spring­boks, in Jo­han­nes­burg and Bloem­fontein. He wants his play­ers to be pre­pared for po­ten­tially hot, hu­mid con­di­tions in Ja­pan and the ma­chine will be given an air­ing be­fore this year’s au­tumn se­ries and the 2019 Six Na­tions.

“Our train­ing cen­tre will be­come a heat and hu­mid­ity en­vi­ron­ment,” says Jones, who coached Ja­pan from 2012-15. “Some play­ers will strug­gle and it will have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on how they play rugby. There are ways you can over­come that and this is one. It is im­por­tant to do it now be­cause it en­ables us to find ways to help them cope in the World Cup.

“The tem­per­a­ture in the train­ing fa­cil­ity will reach 30 de­grees with 75 per cent hu­mid­ity. You could have eight weeks in Ja­pan at that tem­per­a­ture. It be­comes a dif­fer­ent game, like play­ing in a thun­der­storm. The ball be­comes slip­pery, and we want to get the play­ers used to those con­di­tions, be­cause we do not have the lux­ury of play­ing in Ja­pan be­fore­hand.”

Jones will be with­out a core of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in South Africa. Some, in­clud­ing Dy­lan Hart­ley, Court­ney Lawes, An­thony Wat­son and Ge­orge Kruis, are in­jured; oth­ers, such as Dan Cole, James Haskell and Danny Care, have been “rested”, and it is in those who have been omit­ted that the di­rec­tion Jones is tak­ing to Ja­pan may be tracked. Would Mike Brown and Chris Rob­shaw have a sum­mer off but for in­juries to Wat­son and Sam Underhill?

In the Six Na­tions Eng­land were the least ef­fec­tive team at the break­down , strug­gling to re­cy­cle ball quickly and slow down the op­po­si­tion. They lacked dy­namism and were largely nar­row and one-paced. But both the tour squad and the group as­sem­bled to train in Brighton next week for the May 27 match against the Bar­bar­ians at Twick­en­ham have an em­pha­sis on mo­bil­ity as well as power.

“The game is only go­ing to get faster and more ath­letic,” says Jones. “All the law in­ter­pre­ta­tions are geared to the ball be­ing faster: New Zealand drive the laws and they are ob­sessed with quick ruck ball. It is go­ing to hap­pen and we need to im­prove there. We have to change not skill-sets but be­hav­iour.”

South Africa have re­acted to three stag­nant years af­ter the last World Cup by ap­point­ing Rassie Eras­mus and align­ing their Su­per Rugby fran­chises with the Boks. Jones notes the dif­fer­ence that would make but when asked whether he would be lob­by­ing for the break­down in the Pre­mier­ship to bet­ter re­flect in­ter­na­tional rugby and the Cham­pi­ons Cup, a greater con­test for pos­ses­sion that would en­cour­age clubs to groom and play spe­cial­ist open­side flankers, his re­ply shows he is re­signed to non­in­ter­fer­ence. “I can’t con­trol that,” he an­swers. “How can I have an in­flu­ence? I do not own any club. We don’t con­trol the ref­er­ees, the clubs do.”

So Jones must plough on with­out the syn­chro­ni­sa­tion most of his ri­vals en­joy. “You need spe­cial­ist sev­ens: that role has be­come even more im­por­tant as the game has changed,” he says.

The front- and sec­ond-row choices for South Africa high­light the need to play with sus­tained pace, and Jones has called up Dan Rob­son and Danny Cipri­ani, who are adept at get­ting the ball wide quickly.

Jones says he knows 70 per cent of the squad he will take to Ja­pan and is look­ing for the other 30 per cent. Jones is tak­ing 18-year-old Sale play­maker Cameron Red­path to South Africa even though he has not made an ap­pear­ance in the Pre­mier­ship this sea­son. Five of the seven in­side backs, ex­clud­ing the scrum-halves, are out-halves, with Henry Slade, who has started in that po­si­tion for Exeter, and Ben Te’o the ex­cep­tions, as Jones strives for quick ball.

Coaches reg­u­larly come up with wheezes such as con­trap­tions that turn the air hot and hu­mid, but it is play­ers who will win the World Cup.

“We want some­one to come through who will give us some­thing dif­fer­ent,” says Jones. He wants his play­ers to be in­stinc­tive, start­ing with out-half Ge­orge Ford, who now has Cipri­ani to push him.

“Cer­tain teams want the 10 to play as part of the sys­tem and that takes away his in­stinc­tive­ness. Our job is to open that up for him. We want to see what Danny can add. He played the game east-west [run­ning lat­er­ally] but now he is more north-south so he is worth hav­ing a look at.

“Just tell him to leave his din­ner suit at home; you can’t play rugby in that.”

‘We have to change not skill-sets but be­hav­iour’

Danny Cipri­ani is back in the Eng­land frame due to his more di­rect play, ac­cord­ing to Ed­die Jones

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.