Thursday 8 December 2016

England's Grand Slam-winning coach suggested a squad pub crawl halfway through Six Nations

Published 25/03/2016 | 07:54

James Haskell of England celebrates England's Grand Slam following the RBS Six Nations match between France and England at Stade de France on March 19, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dave Winter/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
James Haskell of England celebrates England's Grand Slam following the RBS Six Nations match between France and England at Stade de France on March 19, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dave Winter/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

England captain Dylan Hartley was uncertain if head coach Eddie Jones was joking or not when the Australian suggested a pub crawl during the RBS 6 Nations.

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England completed a first Grand Slam in 13 years with a 31-21 win over France in Paris last week and celebrated afterwards. Jones has won all five games since his appointment.

Hartley told the Jonathan Ross Show: "He (Jones) texted me in one of the weeks off saying I think we should have a pub crawl. I wasn't sure if he was joking or not."

England players were forbidden from drinking under Stuart Lancaster, Jones' predecessor who left his role following last autumn's woeful World Cup exit. But the players have spoken of benefiting from a more laid-back atmosphere.

Scrum-half Danny Care said: "We kept it quite low key throughout the tournament, we didn't go out and give the large-un after game one. We definitely did it after game five (against France) though.

"To be fair Eddie is all about having a couple of beers every now and again just at the right time. We bided our time, we didn't want to go out and think we were better than we were to start, but we waited until the end of the tournament to celebrate properly."

Hartley was concussed during the defeat of Les Bleus, but returned to the field to lift the trophy - a moment he cannot recall.

He said: "It's all a bit of a blur. The only thing I can remember is putting my suit on after the game.

"It's a bit like when you go to a party and have too many beers and you look at your phone the next day and so my Twitter is filled up with photos from the game.

"I've watched the video obviously and I'm starting to try and piece things back together. At the moment I'm just having a rest."

:: England rugby players Dylan Hartley, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care and Jonathan Joseph are guests on the Jonathan Ross Show, to be screened on Saturday, March 26 at 2200 on ITV

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