Early in January the website rugbypass.com carried a piece on England rugby bosses’ concern about the number of training injuries suffered while on international duty.
Eddie Jones was clearly in the RFU firing line, and has now suffered another withdrawal from a test squad because of a training injury just a few days before the kick-off of the Six Nations Championship.
Although it could have happened at any other training session or during a match, the side strain that will keep Ben Te’o from the Six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday again places the focus on Jones’ injury record at training camps.
Rugbypass reported that Jones’ ’controversially tough training sessions meant that players were five times more likely to sustain injuries on international duty than with their clubs last season (2017/18)’.
This is based on the report of the Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) produced by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Premiership Rugby (PRL) and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA).
The report concludes that ‘during the 2017-18 season, the mean incidence of England training injuries sustained during Rugby Skills was double that of the study period average.
As a consequence the burden of England training injuries during Rugby Skills (579 days absence per 1000 hrs) rose to more than five times the study mean (96 days absence per 1000 hrs). The average severity of 30 days was a substantial increase on the mean of the study period as a whole (19 days).’
♦ Te’o was expected to start against Ireland. Manu Tuilagi could perhaps now get his first England start since 2013.
On the other hand, Jones may decide to move captain Owen Farrell to inside centre with George Ford coming in at flyhalf.
Flank Brad Shields and wing Joe Cokanasiga have also both been ruled out of the fixture with niggles unrelated to training.
Dan Cole, Jack Singleton, Ben Moon and Ben Earl and backs Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Devoto and Ollie Thorley have been released from the squad and joined their clubs, where there are currently no competitions on the go except for the Premiership Cup, regarded as of a development competition for younger up-and-coming stars.
♦ The injuries sustained under Jones with his training methods were at one point referred in the press as ‘training injury madness’.
This was after his controversial training session where Wasps flanker Sam Jones break his leg and Bath wing Anthony Watson fracture his jaw during a judo session
(Sam) Jones has since retired from rugby because of the injury.