England coaches jet in reinforcements as squad are put through their paces by sprint guru Jonas Dodoo

England drafted in reinforcements and Friday in the form of sprint specialist Jonas Dodoo and familiar face Jason Ryles as the squad was put through its paces for the first time in Portugal, but any hopes of a benefitting from the warm-weather training camp in the Algarve were hit by bad weather.

With the rain falling throughout the day, Dodoo took charge of the backs contingent that included fit-again centres Manu Tuilagi and Ben Te’o, who were able to take a full part in training as they were drilled through resistance sprints and technique training – with Eddie Jones having a fully fit squad to put through its paces as all 36 players trained ahead of the four Quilter Internationals that begin next weekend against South Africa before tests against New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

Chris Ashton also returned to the squad for the first time since making his Sale Sharks debut last weekend – in which the 31-year-old announced his return from a seven-week ban with a hat-trick of tries – but the flyer was left immediately embarrassed after an equipment malfunction left him flat on his backside mid-sprint, much to the humour of the rest of the squad.

However, there was method to all the madness as Jones has drafted renowned sprint guru Dodoo, who has worked previously with a number of Premiership sides, the England Sevens team as well as Olympic champion Greg Rutherford and British sprinter CJ Ujah, in order to sharpen up his squad.

While Dodoo looked after the backs, a combination of forwards coach Steve Borthwick, defence coach John Mitchell and Ryles – who has flown in from Australia for the third time to lend his defensive experience with Australian NRL side Melbourne Storm to Jones – handled the forwards, with an emphasis on defensive breakdown work.


England’s autumn international squad





1/36 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)

2/36 Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)

3/36 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)

4/36 Jamie George (Saracens)

5/36 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)

6/36 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)

7/36 Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)

8/36 Maro Itjoe (Saracens)

9/36 Charlie Ewels (Bath)

10/36

11/36 George Kruis (Saracens)

12/36 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

13/36 Brad Shields (Wasps)

14/36 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

15/36 Michael Rhodes (Saracens)

16/36 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)

17/36 Sam Underhill (Bath)

18/36 Zach Mercer (Bath)

19/36 Ben Morgan (Gloucester)

20/36 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)

21/36 Danny Care (Harlequins)

22/36 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

23/36 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

24/36 Owen Farrell (Saracens)

25/36 George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

26/36 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

27/36 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

28/36 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)

29/36 Alex Lozowski (Saracens)

30/36 Nathan Earle (Harlequins)

31/36 Elliot Daly (Wasps)

32/36 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)

33/36 Chris Ashton (Saracens)

34/36 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

35/36 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath)

36/36 Mike Brown (Harlequins)

1/36 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)

2/36 Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)

3/36 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)

4/36 Jamie George (Saracens)

5/36 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)

6/36 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)

7/36 Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors)

8/36 Maro Itjoe (Saracens)

9/36 Charlie Ewels (Bath)

10/36

11/36 George Kruis (Saracens)

12/36 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

13/36 Brad Shields (Wasps)

14/36 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

15/36 Michael Rhodes (Saracens)

16/36 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)

17/36 Sam Underhill (Bath)

18/36 Zach Mercer (Bath)

19/36 Ben Morgan (Gloucester)

20/36 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)

21/36 Danny Care (Harlequins)

22/36 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

23/36 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

24/36 Owen Farrell (Saracens)

25/36 George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

26/36 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

27/36 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

28/36 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)

29/36 Alex Lozowski (Saracens)

30/36 Nathan Earle (Harlequins)

31/36 Elliot Daly (Wasps)

32/36 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)

33/36 Chris Ashton (Saracens)

34/36 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

35/36 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath)

36/36 Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Jones hopes that the eight-day training camp will help fully prepare his side for their first November outing next week, with England set to take on the Springboks just five months after suffering a 2-1 series defeat on their summer tour. Having previously flown out to Portugal for shorter camps, Jones explained why he prolonged this year’s trip, which also is part of his 2019 Rugby World Cup plans.

“Last time we came, we couldn’t train. The players were beaten up, injuries. It was actually a waste of time because we went back on Sunday,” Jones said. “So I thought: if we’re going to come here, we might as well make it worthwhile.

“So worthwhile is giving the players a break – which we did for two days to allow them to change out of club mode to international mode, recover from any niggles and then train Wednesday to Thursday – which is a similar length camp to what we’ll have at the World Cup.”

England will remain in the Algarve until Jones announces his side to face the Springboks next Thursday, before flying home to finalise their preparations for the Quilter Internationals.

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