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England will test their scrum against 'biggest, ugliest, strongest' Georgian pack in training this week

Eddie Jones’ forwards have a heavy workload before an open training session later in the week.

England captain Dylan Hartley after the win over Wales on Saturday.
England captain Dylan Hartley after the win over Wales on Saturday.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

EDDIE JONES WILL pit his forwards against ‘the biggest, ugliest, strongest’ (yes, Georgia, he’s talking about you) ‘scrum pack in the world’ in training this week.

The Lelos are currently ranked 12th in the world, two places ahead of Italy who continually face scrutiny over their inclusion in the Six Nations over the eastern European nation.

England trail Ireland by points difference only after two rounds with many predicting a Grand Slam decider in Twickenham on the final day in March. And with the World Cup looming on the horizon, Jones contacted Milton Haig and Richard Graham to ensure his pack are not lacking for a hard edge.

“We want to have the best scrum in the world and they are the biggest, ugliest, strongest scrum pack in the world, so it’s fantastic,” Jones said ahead of the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions in Latymer Upper School, near Richmond in west London.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get some quality scrum practice in. It will still be practice but they will do the same number of scrums they do in a game.”

Jones’ England also engaged in an international forwards session ahead of last year’s November Tests when Wales crossed the Severn to pack down against the back-to-back Six Nations champions.

Johann van Graan and Simon Easterby Munster coach Johann van Graan speaks with Simon Easterby at Ireland training last week. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ahead of the Six Nations opener against France, Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby was asked if a similar arrangement had been considered for his pack.

Aside from a 2015 World Cup trip to Harlequins, it has not been a live possibility.

“If we feel we have enough players available to us then we would rather keep it in-house. For us, we want to keep everyone involved here and work together to prepare ourselves rather than bring in outside players.”

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Sean Farrell

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