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Eddie Jones’ training camps intense but well-balanced, insists Scott Wisemantel

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By Nick Purewal, PA

England have mounted a staunch defence of Eddie Jones’ training approach following claims players feared national camps.

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Former Wasps lock Kearnan Myall opened up on his struggles with depression this week, claiming several England stars “dread” meeting up for training with the Test team.

Attack coach Scott Wisemantel has insisted, however, that England’s stars are exposed extensive and sympathetic pastoral care, even amid head coach Jones’ famed taskmaster methods.

“We’ve had no complaints at all through the RPA (Rugby Players’ Association),” said Wisemantel.

“There’s never been a complaint. I feel for the player, but it was a long time before my time here.

“I know the programme that Eddie runs here is intense, but it’s well-structured. There is time for players to refresh, to get their heads right, to recover. It’s a well-balanced programme, it really is.

“Eddie tries to vary the programme from week to week with little subtle changes and player socials. There’s also the downtime. I think it’s a very well-balanced programme.”

Confirming team manager Richard Hill as the first point of contact if players admitted struggling mentally, Wisemantel insisted any problems would be treated with the utmost respect and seriousness.

“Without a doubt (issues would be handled sympathetically),” he added. “Player welfare is important.

“It is not just the physical side, it is also the mental side.

“You look at sport in general, the stakes are high, the pressure is high at the pointy end of the stick. It is intense.

“It is providing coping mechanisms around it for players. Everyone is different.

“Within this squad it is not one size fits all, there is enough scope for every individual to find their own niche, their own down time and how they cope with the demands of playing international rugby.

“If a player is under pressure or something has been said, be mindful and address it rather than leave it as an elephant in the room.

“There is nothing wrong with saying, ‘Are you OK?’ and then putting the appropriate steps in for the player because it is really important.”

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