England explain why George Kruis was at England training on Tuesday
Richard Wigglesworth has shed light on the surprise presence of George Kruis at England training on Tuesday in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. The 33-year-old retired from Test rugby in 2020 and he bowed out from playing with a memorable back-heeled conversion kick for the Barbarians against an English XV at Twickenham in June 2022.
Having exited rugby, he has since concentrated full-time in the past year and a bit on his cannabis oil business but he has now suddenly appeared as a lineout advisor as England look to build on last Saturday’s opening-round Rugby World Cup win over Argentina in Marseille.
England finished seven from seven on their own throw last Saturday and they also had success on the Argentinian ball as the Pumas were only 11 from 15 at the end of a match that finished 27-10 to Steve Borthwick’s side.
Asked to explain the need for Kruis to now assist at England training, assistant coach Wigglesworth said: “George helps with lineout, so he and Steve chat for hours behind closed doors and I really don’t want to listen to those conversations. They have a proper lineout nause off.
“I know he helps the callers and the lineout menu that they get and all that detail that I definitely don’t need to know. I’m sure he is incredibly valuable. It’s great to have him around because he has got such an affinity with so many of them [the players], so it has been really nice to have him here for a couple of days.”
So what is the arrangement? “I think he is due to come back. What day is it today? Tuesday. He might be going home tomorrow [Wednesday]. I’ve seen enough of him now. It’s nice to see him but he is going back. He has got his big company to go and run. He is going to be jetting in and out a little bit but he always going to be on the phone and speaking to Steve.”
Wigglesworth quipped how Kruis now looks very different from when he was a player. “He has lost a lot of weight,” he added. “He got a bit of stick this morning for his weight and he actually compared his body to mine. He was 117kgs when he played. Not the best compliment for him.”
Switching to Tuesday evening’s Tom Curry independent disciplinary hearing following his red card in Marseille, Wigglesworth said it was a topic that was off-limits for him to discuss. “You will appreciate that what I can’t do is talk around this instance or any other that may affect pre-hearing,” he said.
“It is an evasion sport where collisions happen, accidents happen, it’s a fast-moving game with incredible athletes so it gives you some insight into what may or may not have happened on the field. You will appreciate I can’t elaborate on my thoughts on our head knock or any others. I can’t comment on our frustration or anyone else’s.”
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