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Borthwick plays down training-ground clashes as routine 'pushing and shoving'

England and Georgia players reportedly clashed after a scrum session yesterday.

Eddie Jones after training at Pennyhill Park.
Eddie Jones after training at Pennyhill Park.
Image: Adam Davy

ENGLAND FORWARDS COACH Steve Borthwick has played down clashes that took place between England’s and Georgia’s players in front of children during training as routine “pushing and shoving”.

It was reported that the session at a school in Oxford on Wednesday, which was watched by young pupils, became so heated that punches were thrown and the two groups had to be separated.

Georgia had been invited to join England’s preparations for the Six Nations fixture against Italy on 9 March, and Borthwick said: “As sometimes happens in training, there was some pushing and shoving and that’s about it. You get on with the next scrum.

“It was a good session and (Thursday’s) was a good session as well.

“The guys scrummed hard against each other, there was some pushing and shoving, which happens in rugby. It happened quite a lot throughout my career — a bit of pushing and shoving that settles down and you get on with what you need to do.”

Asked if England would reconsider extending similar invitations to Georgia in future, Borthwick said: “We’re always looking at what the best training’s going to be for us going forward, and these two days have been excellent — really good for the team.

“It’s good experience, and good competition on the training field, which is excellent, exactly what we want. Our training plans going forward, we’re always looking at how we can improve them.”

England are second in the Six Nations table after a 21-13 defeat last week by Wales, who lead the standings with three wins from three.

© – AFP 2019 

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