Jones has often been criticised for the heavy toll his training regime has on England’s players. In May Bath owner Bruce Craig voiced his anger over the injury to Beno Obano which ruled the prop out for next season. It led to an unseemly spat between Jones and Craig, with the Australian likening him to Donald Trump.
England have had a forgettable 2018 so far, a fifth-placed Six Nations finish was followed by a 2-1 series loss to South Africa, during which Wilson made two appearances from the bench and he feels that Jones got things “spot on” ahead of the Springbok series.
“What we did in terms of our preparation I felt was spot-on, I wouldn’t personally change how we prepared or went about our business while we were out there and it was only our execution during the games which was the issue. All the off-field stuff and preparation was fine, but of course it was disappointing to lose those first two tests.” the 28-year-old said.
“Being involved in two of the three tests was fantastic from a personal sense, and it was a big moment for me to get on the field during both of those games.”
“We did stuff off the field which the management see as important, and we had some decent down time. We were in Durban during the training week, we managed to get in a bit of recovery down near the beach and during our free time we did a bit of surfing and bodyboarding, which I’d never done before. We managed to dodge the great white sharks, which was handy, and it was an enjoyable experience.”
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Wilson, who was the Premiership top tackler in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 season, is keen to push on with the Newcastle Falcons this year, a 4th-placed finish last season was the club’s best performance since winning the title in 1998.
“We keep growing each season, and it’s gradual progress. To be fair to Dean Richards he was clear from day one when he came into the club six years ago. He said it wasn’t going to be an overnight job and that it would take a good few years to get to where we wanted to be, which was top six and top four on a regular basis.
“The players all realised it was going to be a long-term thing, and we’ve improved every year. It hasn’t been wholesale change, we’ve added a little bit every season and we’ve kept the same core together.”
But the Falcons, who’ve recruited the likes of Logovi’i Mulipola, George McGuigan and Johnny Williams, will no longer be under the radar.
“The fact that we’re not regarded by other people as a surprise package doesn’t change anything from our point of view,” Wilson said.
“It’s a fresh way of looking at it. For years now we’ve been going into games having been written off by people, but now teams and pundits are respecting us. It’s a test, for sure, but in terms of how we operate as a squad it doesn’t affect us.”
The begin their season on September 2nd against defending champions Saracens.
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