Contingency plan was smart move and vital to preparation
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