England’s rugby stars shaped up for their Guinness Six Nations title defence this weekend with a stay at the home of England football, St. George’s Park.
Eddie Jones’ side spent an intensive week training at the Three Lions’ training base, taking full advantage of the world-class pitches, gym and recovery facilities more normally used by the likes of Harry Kane and Lucy Bronze, as well as staying at the on-site Hilton hotel.
England’s defence of the trophy begins on Saturday [6 February] with the Calcutta Cup against Scotland at Twickenham Stadium – four months before the two nations meet in the rearranged UEFA EURO 2020 tournament at Wembley Stadium.
The FA and Rugby Football Union enjoy a close working relationship, with coaches and support teams regularly exchanging ideas and best practice. England Rugby’s camp at St. George’s Park followed a visit from the GB Rowing Team men’s squad, who kicked off their Olympic year with a training camp last month at the Staffordshire site.
Speaking of their St. George’s Park experience, Eddie Jones said: “We decided to come to St. George’s Park for the start of our preparation for the Guinness Six Nations.
“It’s a bit of a change up for us, we normally go to Portugal for a warm weather camp, but it was a really good choice for us given the current COVID-19 situation and the facilities it has.
“It really allowed our players to focus entirely on getting ready for the tournament.
“We had a really good week of training there and I know the players enjoyed the layout and environment. It’s helped put us in a good position to go and perform well at the Six Nations this year.”
St. George’s Park general manager Holly Murdoch said: “During these challenging times we are grateful to have welcomed such a fantastic calibre of elite sports teams at St. George’s Park with England Rugby topping off a great month.
“We are delighted to have offered our world-class facilities to play a part in the team’s preparation for the Six Nations, which we wish them the very best of luck at.”
St. George’s Park remains open to professional club and international sides from across the sporting world who can take advantage of state-of-the-art facilities in a safe, COVID-19-secure environment.