Jones or­ders Eng­land pack to ‘rip into’ Welsh as joint train­ing ses­sion be­tween two na­tions makes his­tory

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Gavin Mairs RUGBY NEWS CORRESPONDENT

Ed­die Jones, the Eng­land head coach, will in­struct his for­wards to “rip into” their Welsh coun­ter­parts dur­ing an un­prece­dented scrum­mag­ing ses­sion be­tween the two packs to in­ten­sify their prepa­ra­tions for their re­spec­tive au­tumn Test se­ries cam­paigns. Both sides are ex­pected to bring up to 16 for­wards to the train­ing ses­sion on Nov 6 at Clifton Col­lege in Bris­tol.

Play­ers will wear their of­fi­cial kits and the two packs will en­gage in 12 scrums and 15 line-outs, the av­er­age num­ber of set-piece con­tests that oc­cur in a Test match, with Welsh ref­eree Nigel Owens of­fi­ci­at­ing.

The train­ing ses­sion, which will take place five days be­fore Eng­land face Ar­gentina at Twick­en­ham, will pose a risk in terms of in­jury, but Jones – who will be con­cerned by in­juries picked up by El­liot Daly, Matt Mul­lan and Piers Francis dur­ing yes­ter­day’s game be­tween Northamp­ton and Wasps – claimed it was worth the risk. The Welsh open their au­tumn cam­paign on Nov 11, against Aus­tralia in Cardiff.

“It will be bril­liant, ex­actly what we need,” said Jones. “New Zealand have got the best scrum in the world and we haven’t. So, how do we im­prove? We’ve got to scrum against sides that are bet­ter than us.

“Steve Borth­wick, Neal Hat­ley [Eng­land’s for­ward coaches] and I were think­ing, ‘Right, how can we take this scrum on to the next level?’ Scrum against a bet­ter team. Who’s got a good scrum, who’s close to us? We thought about Ge­or­gia, but it’s a bit far to go to Tbil­isi for a day. So then Steve gave War­ren a ring [to see] whether he was up for the idea.

“It will be phys­i­cal stuff. Get stuck in! Who’s got the big­gest chest! There’s al­ways a risk of in­juries, but we need to im­prove our scrum­mag­ing. If I see you ev­ery day, there’s a fa­mil­iar­ity. We need to ex­pose them to dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

Asked if the scrums and line-outs would be full-on con­tests, Jones said: “Yeah, rip in! We want Wayne Barnes but they wanted Nigel Owens, so we’ve bowed to their wishes. It’s a great place and Nigel will do it. He’s one of the best ref­er­ees in the world so we’re lucky.”

Jones faces a wait to dis­cover whether Daly, Mul­lan or Francis are able to take part in the au­tumn se­ries. Daly suf­fered a knee in­jury, his Wasps team-mate Mul­lan an arm prob­lem, and Northamp­ton play­maker Francis dam­aged his an­kle.

Con­cern: El­liot Daly is treated for a knee in­jury in Wasps’ vic­tory over Northamp­ton

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