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Joint England and Wales training session had 'edge'

Alun Wyn Jones during Wales' Six Nations defeat to England in 2018

Neil Hatley revealed there was “a little bit of an edge” when the England and Wales forwards faced each other in what he said was a worthwhile exercise for both parties.

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Nigel Owens was called in to referee an unprecedented training session between the Six Nations rivals in Bristol on Monday.

England scrum coach Hatley said there was no shortage of intensity and thinks both sides can reap the rewards ahead of the autumn internationals.

Hatley said: “It was good, very worthwhile. Obviously it is good to get live competition early on in the week and it was a very worthwhile session, a lot to be gained from it.

“The way we’re trying to drive training, we want to make it as unbelievably competitive as possible, so I suppose it is the non-familiarity of it all – there were different players that you don’t scrummage against week in, week out.

“There was a little bit of an edge but nothing serious, I think both sides took a lot from it. It is a training aide to help us prepare for Argentina [on Saturday] so there was a good edge to it.

“We got what we were looking to get out from it with things that we’ve been looking at in Portugal and preparing for.

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“Obviously everything is setting up to play against Argentina, who are a good set-piece team with a good scrum and lineout, so that is what today was handy for.”

 

https://twitter.com/BrisVADAR/status/927493460717920257

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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