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Fri 24 Jan 2020 | 06:11

England to avoid World Cup pitfalls

England to avoid World Cup pitfalls
Fri 24 Jan 2020 | 06:11
England to avoid World Cup pitfalls
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England’s Ollie Thorley says coach Eddie Jones has talked about his determination to avoid a dip in form after the heartache of defeat in the World Cup final ahead of their Six Nations opener.

Jones has taken his 34-man squad to Portugal for a training camp ahead of England’s opening match of the tournament against France in Paris on February 2.

The uncapped Thorley said Jones had brought the players together to talk about the World Cup, where England lost in the final to South Africa after beating the All Blacks in the last four.

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“There are a few things that need to be addressed about the World Cup,” the Gloucester player said in a telephone interview from the team camp. “We’re having a couple of meetings this week to do that.”

Thorley, who won the Rugby Players Association young player of the year award last season, said the Six Nations felt like a new start for England, who could take the positives from Japan but also learn lessons.

“The boys did a great job over in Japan but we want to keep kicking on,” added the 23-year-old wing.

“Eddie spoke about teams that reached the World Cup final and ended up as runners-up as there has been a dip in the first year following the loss and at the next World Cup, so he’s addressed that at this point.

“It shows we can’t rest on our laurels and we have to kick on.”

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Thorley said the issue of Saracens’ impending relegation from the English Premiership, due to salary cap breaches, had been discussed.

“Friday was the first time we properly got together as a group and had a proper conversation,” he said. “Most of it was about the England team. The Saracens thing was touched on a little bit.

“All the Saracens guys have said ‘we’re here to play for England’.”

England, runners up in the Six Nations last year, have not won the title since 2017 and have not been Grand Slam winners since 2016.

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England To Avoid World Cup Pitfalls - England | Rugby365