Mako Vunipola reveals Eddie Jones’s gruelling England fitness targets – The Guardian

Mako Vunipola has revealed the gruelling fitness targets Eddie Jones has introduced for England’s forwards this autumn as he plots a course towards next year’s World Cup.
Jones has repeatedly billed the four November Tests against Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa as a mini World Cup – the first two of those nations are in England’s pool next year and as a result, preparations have been stepped up at a training camp in Jersey this week.
Vunipola said it was a similar story in 2018 in the lead-up to the 2019 tournament with England facing fixtures against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia and the loosehead prop expects a similarly valuable November campaign.
England rounded off their five-day camp in Jersey with an open session at the Reds’ ground and the forwards were put through their paces, running four sets of 22 metres on six occasions as part of a gruelling session and Vunipola said the target is 10 by next summer. “The fitness drills are something new,” said Vunipola. “Something I’m not a fan of but it’s part of the job. Got to get it done. Front row lads: 22m four times, down and up on each line. We did that six times today. The target is 10 by the RWC pre-season. We’ve got a long way to go. I’m very much looking forward to that! We have to do it away from here, too.”
Jones has also been seeking to make his squad more adaptable given the “volatile” nature of the international game at the moment and, accordingly, he ran a number of match scenarios during the high-octane session. Manu Tuilagi and Maro Itoje sat out the session but both are expected to be fit for England’s opener against Argentina tomorrow week.
“It was all situational. People coming off, the number of points on the board, how long left in the game, what we need from the game. We’re bringing that together to make England the best team we can be,” said Vunipola, who confirmed he will wear “M Vunipola” on his jersey after it was revealed England would have names on their backs for the first time this autumn.
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Scotland, who host Australia at Murrayfield on Saturday, will join England in having their names on the back of their shirts in their Autumn Nations Series matches.


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