Eddie Jones charts path to England's glory
CHARLES SALE - SPORTS AGENDA: The giant workload expected of his players by England rugby head coach Eddie Jones during an international week is laid out for them all to see.
The giant workload expected of his players by England rugby head coach Eddie Jones during an international week is laid out for them all to see in multi-coloured detail.
A touchscreen at the entrance to the private England rugby floor at their Pennyhill Park hotel base displays the weekly schedule as well as the game plan and tactics.
The immense attention to detail has Jones outlining exactly what the players will be doing for every hour, sometimes minute, of the day from breakfast starting at 7am to unit meetings called at 8.30pm after dinner.
Eddie Jones has laid out a giant workload for his England players to see in multi-coloured detail
In between there are a myriad of meetings and different types of preparation, practising and recovery.
Included on the large, daunting chart are: a wellness session, a co-ordination meeting, strapping, commercial appearances, walk-through, prep to win, game training, units tutorial, units speed, recovery, lunch, squad meeting, snacks, coaches debrief, players meeting, game summary meeting, mobility, flexibility, individual game prep, skills, team dinner out and staff meeting.
Sometimes all the squad are involved or they are split into forwards and backs as well as front five, middle five and back five. No wonder the gym opens at PHP shortly after 5am so that Eddie and his coaching staff can do their own fitness sessions ahead of a packed itinerary.
And no wonder also that there is a high turnover of backroom personnel who cannot keep pace with Jones' timetable - all centred on winning the World Cup in 2019.
He has outlined exactly what his players will be doing for every hour during international week
Manchester United's multi-million pound revamp of their entire scouting system - bringing in around 50 new scouts - doesn't seem to be running entirely smoothly. One new recruit was sent to Reykjavik to watch Iceland play the Czech Republic only to find out after his arrival that the game was being staged in Doha, Qatar.
Man United's revamp of their entire scouting system doesn't seem to be running smoothly
The first Test of a new Ashes series starts in less than a fortnight - but the fall-out from the last encounter Down Under four years ago is still being raked over.
Graeme Swann, who shamefully quit international cricket halfway through the Aussie whitewash, has given the impression, in a new book and in a radio documentary this week, that England coach Andy Flower was responsible for sending him home when he would have been happy to stay around for the Melbourne and Sydney Tests.
However, Flower was aghast that another senior player - after Jonathan Trott's stress-related problems - wanted to leave the tour early and did his best to dissuade Swann from going.
But when it became apparent Swann's mind was made up, Flower rightly did not want a player remaining on tour when unavailable for selection.
England footballers suffering from cabin fever at isolated St George's Park will not be overjoyed to hear that a visitor this week to the expected England hotel base for the World Cup, in Repino outside St Petersburg, reports that the location is also sleepy in the extreme - like the Staffordshire countryside. The 107-room ForRestMix hotel is situated 1km away from the village of Repino which doesn't have much more than a strip of expensive restuarants to offer.
England's base in Russia is sleepy in the extreme - like the Staffordshire countryside
Clarke's Qatar summit
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the VIP Wembley suite on Friday night with FA chairman Greg Clarke hosting both Qatar World Cup chief Hassan al Thawadi and German football president Reinhard Grindel, who has been very critical of Qatar staging the 2022 tournament.
In contrast, Clarke, unlike his predecessor Greg Dyke, is keen to build bridges with Qatar but hasn't been advertising the fact, having personally been under so much pressure for his inept handling of the Aluko-Sampson scandal.