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Lancaster goes back to basics

England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster has gone back to basics by moving the squad's pre-Six Nations training camp from a resort in Portugal to Leeds.

Defending champions England will train at Lancaster's local club West Park Leeds RUFC and use the weights facilities at the Leeds Rugby Academy during their camp between January 23-27. England will still be based at Pennyhill Park hotel during the defence of their Six Nations title, which begins against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4.

Lancaster said: "The main objectives of the camp are to spend some time together, building the team, reviewing the World Cup but more importantly working together on setting our goals for the Six Nations and beyond and getting on the same page with our rugby game plan."

He added: "By keeping it in England we can create a 'new' feel to the camp, in what is a new start.

"It will allow us to train in conditions that we will be facing up at Murrayfield, create opportunities for the team to stay connected with the public, and allow us to invite in one or two people from outside of rugby to help us shape our future.

"All the players have come through grassroots rugby and, with excellent facilities at West Park Leeds and the availability of local facilities and provision for poor weather options, Leeds was the best fit when we considered all the options.

"Hopefully it will also give a boost to rugby in the north and help in developing the game in the area."

Lancaster has invited Hugh Morris, the England cricket managing director, and British Cycling boss Dave Brailsford to address the squad on elite performance. The England rugby league captain Jamie Peacock and a British soldier have also been asked to speak on what it means to represent the country.

"This is an opportunity to bring people in from outside of rugby to talk to the players what it takes to be elite and what it means to play for England," Lancaster said.

"We would find it difficult to bring those outside speakers in if we were abroad."


From Belfast Telegraph