Con­tin­gency plan was smart move and vi­tal to prepa­ra­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby -

SPORTS MEDICINE EX­PERT the France game gives Eng­land ex­tra time to work on in­jured play­ers and means they will not in­cur the risk of pick­ing up match-re­lated in­juries or sus­pen­sions and boost the time they can spend on con­di­tion­ing the squad.

Or­di­nar­ily, matches eat into your con­di­tion­ing work, be­cause you end up los­ing three days around the game – one be­fore and two af­ter – to travel and re­cov­ery. Eng­land now have a nice, clear block of time to do gym or field-based con­di­tion­ing.

There are dis­ad­van­tages to weigh up, as well. Trav­el­ling al­ways adds an el­e­ment of fa­tigue (although this should be min­i­mal, given the flight from Tokyo to Miyazaki is less than two hours) and it is true that matches de­liver a

The worst-case sce­nario for Eng­land would be for cabin fever to have kicked in

higher stim­u­lus to play­ers than train­ing. Jones will also be un­able to give more com­pet­i­tive min­utes to play­ers such as Mako Vu­nipola and Jack Now­ell, who have had lit­tle game time in this tour­na­ment so far. Eng­land will spin the forth­com­ing week as a “re­cov­ery and re­gen­er­a­tion” pe­riod. My view is that the ben­e­fits of this are over­stated: elite play­ers have a tour­na­ment-fo­cused mind­set which could be dis­rupted by the can­cel­la­tion. Ul­ti­mately, play­ers just want to play.

Mike Dav­i­son is a sports medicine spe­cial­ist at the Isoki­netic Med­i­cal Group

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