England coach Matt Proudfoot lifts lid on Covid ordeal ahead of Italian Job

England rugby coach Matt Proudfoot has spoken for the first time of the “fright” he was given by coronavirus.

Eddie Jones’ forwards guru contracted Covid in January and Proudfoot admits: “You don’t realise how tough it is until you go through it.

“Your body is not used to it, it’s something you’ve never experienced and it gives you a little bit of a fright.

“In the first couple of days you feel bad but for four or five days it really gets hold of you.

“I am feeling better every day although I still don’t taste food. I suppose that is not a bad thing for me.”

Proudfoot, who coached South Africa’s pack to World Cup glory in 2019, refuses to blame his illness on England’s no-show against Scotland.

“I only missed the one day’s training. I don’t think that is an excuse,” he said. “We let ourselves and our supporters down. That’s not our standard.”

He does admit however that the ordeal suffered by him and his wife, who also tested positive and "got a big fright", has given him a “wake-up" call.

“What I went through was trivial compared to some people in the country who are really sick and getting admitted to hospital.

“But it’s had a profound effect on how I think about my lifestyle, my decisions, how my decisions affect people around me. You realise how grateful you are to be here in this environment."

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