Jones unveils England training plans amid shutdown

Twickenham (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


England coach Eddie Jones has announced how the national side will help players and clubs keep training through the coronavirus outbreak so they are fit for the resumption of when top-flight rugby union.

The English Premiership has been suspended until at least April 14 after last month's final round of Six Nations matches were all postponed, with England top of the table, because of the spread of COVID-19.

But with Britain, in common with several countries, in a state of lockdown a further delay looks likely given the outbreak has led to a global suspension of all major sporting activity.

Players are currently training by themselves at home but that won't stop Jones, renowned for his tough regime, keep a watchful eye on their progress.

"We're going to hold one of these virtual meetings on Monday," Jones said on the England Rugby podcast.

"For the players it's obviously particularly different because they're not training for their clubs, we're trying to assist the clubs where we can with equipment and also assist the players with ideas of how they can train.

"Because at the end of the day, we're going to beat this virus and when the virus is beaten we want the players ready to go."

The Australian, who guided England to last year's World Cup final in Yokohama only to see his side beaten by South Africa, added he hoped his players could set an example amid the pandemic.

"It's a difficult time," said Jones, speaking from his home in Japan.

"Obviously the health of everyone is the most important thing.

"Rugby is a game that has always espoused teamwork and one of the things we talk about with the England side all the time is how you can become a better team-mate. Now for everyone, it's how you become a better citizen.

"Following instructions and behaving with discipline is important."