Find out how the players fared in a challege during their Jersey camp
Watch: England take on Red Bull Stress Test
England’s preparations for the Autumn Nations Series, which concludes this weekend with a Rugby World Cup final rematch against South Africa, involved a unique challenge during their camp in Jersey.
They were set the Red Bull Stress Test that challenged them both mentally and physically. First, they were split into four teams that each had to release a 150kg tyre that was chained to an anchor deep in the sand on a Jersey beach, either by digging it out or cracking the code on a padlock.
Then they had to drag, flip, carry and push the tyre on four lengths of the pitch while also keeping several sandbags off the ground at all times and fielding high balls that were kicked in randomly.
Once the competitive element was completed, the players came together as a whole for another huge task: to pull a 9.5-tonne Kamaz Master truck the length of the field, which included going through one water-filled trench section. The driver also increased the difficulty level even further by putting the vehicle into reverse at one point.
You can watch England take on the Red Bull Stress Test here…
The purpose of the Stress Test was to see how players dealt with high-pressure situations, which they are likely to find themselves in during Tests, such as Saturday’s match against the world champions, and helping them become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
As Jon Clarke, England’s head of strength and conditioning, says: “One of the big aspects of our training is problem-solving, or we call it the key episodes in games, so we know in these bits they’re going to have to solve problems in certain scenarios.
“We train specific scenarios on the field where they have to sort problems, but underneath that is just putting them into different situations where they have to solve problems all the time. And I think that’s what the Red Bull Challenge did.
Related: Inside England’s strength and conditioning programme
“What we’re looking for is how boys cope under pressure because that is a big thing in rugby – who can handle the pressure? Who can cope with it? Who can lean into it? That’s exactly what we wanted to see here, the boys leaning into stress.
“What you want from these things is where the boys can recall them and know that they’ve been through these situations before. They know they’ve been tired, they know they’ve had to problem-solve in this situation, which is exactly what they’re going to get in a game.”
Find out how the players found the challenge tomorrow.
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