KEO News Wire

Eager England right at home in Japan as they prepare to step up Rugby World Cup preparations

Eddie Jones is pleased at how quickly England have acclimatised to life in Japan as they prepare to start the “serious preparation” for their Rugby World Cup opener.

The 2003 winners are set up at a training base in Miyazaki ahead of this year’s tournament, though the 31-man squad have been given the chance to do a variety of other activities before the focus switches back to rugby.

They visited a local school during the week, with some players trying their hand at archery, while Jones has allowed them the opportunity to relax as they settle into their new surroundings.

Still, the Australian coach has at times needed to restrict his players from doing too much work in training, wary of a potentially long campaign ahead.

“The players have adjusted really well, really positive. There is a good feeling within the camp,” Jones – who was in charge of the Japan national team at the previous World Cup – told the media.

“Everyone is ready to start work and we have actually had to pull players back because they have wanted to work harder.

“We have had a variety of activities on and off the field and I think they feel like they have adapted to the environment as well as they can. Now they are ready to begin the serious preparation for the World Cup.

“The players have a number of opportunities to do different things; they can go and play golf, we have been down the beach on Friday. We have got good training facilities so it is a place where you can prepare to win and that is why we came here.”

England take on Tonga on September 22 but will be without prop Mako Vunipola and wing Jack Nowell for their opening fixture.

The Pool C clash with the United States that follows four days later is also going to come too soon for the injured duo, though Jones is hopeful they both may be available for the game against Argentina, which takes place in Tokyo on October 5.

“They are going really well and we are really pleased with their progress,” Jones replied, when asked for fitness updates on Vunipola and Nowell.

“We have targeted for both of those guys to be available for the third or fourth game and we are pretty happy with their progress at this stage.”

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