England to train with Georgia to improve scrummage technique

England’s Dylan Hartley is relishing going head to head with Georgia
England’s Dylan Hartley is relishing going head to head with Georgia
©Adam Davy/PA

England captain Dylan Hartley has urged his team-mates to show full intensity during their training with Georgia as they look to improve their scrummage technique.

England coach Eddie Jones had earlier made a similar arrangement with Wales ahead of their autumn internationals last year and it proved beneficial as the red rose team completed the series undefeated and now Georgians will spend time on Tuesday and Wednesday against Hartley's men to give an examination of where they stand.

“Every scrum has to be intense otherwise you get folded up like a travel map stuffed in your back pocket,” captain and hooker Hartley said.

“I’m looking forward to it. It will be a really useful tool and I’m sure they will take something from it as well.

“We’re always looking to improve our scrum. It has been going well for us. They are good players who play Top 14, good operators.

“You think that by mixing it up and training against someone different we will find something out about ourselves and we will learn.

“If I scrum against Jamie George, Alec Hepburn and Harry Williams they know what we are trying to do, we know what they are trying to do and we end up negating each other.”

Earlier, Jones had suggested the idea of England players travelling to Tbilisi to train but it was later decided that Georgia will visit London with the Rugby Football Union taking the charges for the accommodation.

“We’ll do scrums and line-outs against them. We want to have the best scrum in the world and they’re the biggest, ugliest, strongest scrum pack in the world,” Jones said.

“Why wouldn’t we want to scrummage against them? It’s fantastic. We’re good friends with their two coaches, Milton Haig and Richard Graham – a Kiwi and an Aussie. They were keen on the idea and it suits us perfectly.

“We want to win the Six Nations but we’re also using this as a trial for the World Cup, so it’s a great opportunity for us to get some really quality scrum practice in.

“It will be practice, but we will do the same number of scrums that we would have in a game.”

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