Jonny May has revealed that the recent Calcutta Cup fallout has brought a positive edge to England training and has forced the intervention of coaches as England look to relaunch their NatWest 6 Nations title defence.
The Leicester wing has revealed that England’s analysts have changed the way they measure the performances of players in training.
“There has been a bit of an edge in camp – a positive one,” May said.
“The boys have been training hard and smashing each other in training. You can just feel it.
“(Captain) Dylan Hartley leads it well. He always says, ‘Listen, we don’t want the coaches blowing their whistles, telling us to up it. We want the coaches blowing their whistles, telling us to rein it in.’
“That’s how it has been this last couple of weeks.
“There have been no dust-ups, but it has been physical. It has needed to be.”
England’s defeat at Murrayfield in the previous round of the Six Nations was only their second in 26 Tests under the head coach, Eddie Jones.
“It’s the first time that we’ve had a loss and stayed together. Last time after the Ireland loss we all went away,” May said.
“It’s a shame we didn’t have a game last weekend because we all wanted to get back out on the pitch.
“Sometimes it’s disappointing that you need to have a loss to have a reaction. That’s why we can be scratching our heads and thinking, ‘Why did this need to happen for us to feel this way?’.
“I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel or go back to the drawing board because we’re a great team.
“It’s not that we were complacent or anything but sometimes you do get beaten and it does bring an edge and a desire to get back out there and put it right.
“It’s been pretty dark since. We’ve had to sit on the result for a couple of weeks. We were are all really disappointed and hard on ourselves.
“Now we want to go out there and show what it means. This is new territory for us. This is our opportunity to pull back together and learn as a group and push on.”
England are about to name their team to France on Thursday morning.