Some Premiership coaches will not meet with Eddie Jones following England’s controversial training camp.
The fallout following England’s controversial three day training camp in Brighton shows no sign abating, after a number of Premiership directors of rugby have stated their intention not to attend a pre-planned meeting with Eddie Jones ahead of the November series.
Although there appears to be little chance of a damaging rift opening up between Premiership Rugby and the RFU, their relationship has come under strain during the past week after Sam Jones (broken leg), Anthony Watson (broken jaw) and Jack Nowell (quad tear) all recorded significant injuries as a result of the strenuous sessions during the three day camp.
While both Richard Cockerill and Mark McCall were both critical of Jones’ camp, the Leicester Tigers and Saracens’ directors of rugby were diplomatic in their response.
Despite Cockerill pointing out that he has had arguments over player welfare with a number of England coaches, he did state, “the set-up there has been really positive, they’re well coached, the conditioning is good, the medical is good – people are going to get injured. The judo one; it’s just a freak accident”.
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Likewise, while McCall questioned the timing of the camp, he argued “we can’t blame England for everything. They’re entitled to do what they think is right in these camps”.
Nevertheless, some directors of rugby taken the opposite view and have decided not to attend the quarterly meeting. Among those who will be attending is Northampton Saints’ Jim Mallinder, who told the Daily Mail,
For England, it is about getting players together. From a club point of view, we are in a series of six really tough games and there are players who have played on a Saturday doing things on a Monday and Tuesday that we would never ask them to do.
I don’t think that necessarily means that we should be running or dictating what England do in camps or sessions. It would certainly be nice if the England management took us into consideration.
Along with Mallinder, Exeter’s Rob Baxter, Harlequins John Kingston, and Sale’s Steve Diamond are set not to attend the meeting in Heathrow.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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