Saturday 25 November 2017

England and Wales serve up 'edgy' session

Elliot Daly injured his knee on Champions Cup duty for Wasps and was expected to miss the Tests against Argentina and Australia. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Elliot Daly injured his knee on Champions Cup duty for Wasps and was expected to miss the Tests against Argentina and Australia. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Nigel Whittaker

England's unprecedented training session against Wales was ideal preparation for Saturday's clash with Argentina at Twickenham, according to scrum coach Neal Hatley.

The fierce rivals locked horns in Bristol yesterday, completing 12 scrums and 16 lineouts over 40 minutes under the eye of referee Nigel Owens to hone their set-pieces ahead of their November Tests.

"It was very worthwhile. It was good to get live competition early in the week and we gained a lot from it," Hatley said.

"We want to make training as competitive as possible so the unfamiliarity of it made this session different. Obviously it was against players we don't come up against week in, week out.

"There was a little bit of an edge, but there was nothing serious. Both sides took a lot from it.

"Without sounding too calculating, it was a training aid to help us prepare for Argentina so there was good edge to it."

When asked which nation gained the upper hand, Hatley replied: "We'll look at the video and take it from there!

"We got what we wanted to out of it, putting into practice things that we'd been looking at during our training camp in Portugal last week.

"It sets us up nicely to play Argentina, who are a good set-piece team, so in that respect it was handy."

Meanwhile, England have yet to rule Elliot Daly out of the series opener against the Pumas.

Daly injured his knee on Champions Cup duty for Wasps and was expected to miss the Tests against Argentina and Australia and potentially return for the climax to the series against Samoa, but he could yet be involved from the start.

England have already lost wingers Jack Nowell and Jonny May to injury.

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