Watson fires warning shot at Scotland

Date published: March 8 2017

England wing Anthony Watson has warned Scotland that he has improved as a player ahead of their showdown at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Bath stalwart is set to return after recovering from a hamstring injury and feels he is a faster and more skilful player after working on improving his athletic ability with England’s strength and conditioning coach Dean Benton and sharpening his visual skills under the guidance of visual awareness expert Sherylle Calder.

“The time out has been a little bit frustrating because this was the second or third injury I’d had this year and that wasn’t part of the plan,” Watson told Press Association Sport.

“But in a similar way to when I had the jaw injury, I’ve tried to take benefits from it. Being in camp here has allowed me to work on stuff that I wouldn’t normally have been able to do so much of.

“Dean and the S and C staff have been outstanding with me. I’ve been doing a lot of speed work and speed mechanic stuff.

“And that feels like it’s translating, so it’s not been all doom and gloom. I feel better as a result of it.

“In some ways I feel faster. It’s important to learn about yourself and how you run.

“I feel like I understand my body again better in terms of what I need to do to improve, how can I be more efficient with my running and what do I start doing when I’m tired.

“If I can translate that on to the pitch as much as possible, then I’ll definitely reap the benefits.

“A lot of the speed mechanics was to do with how high my hips were going, what my foot strike was like – was it too much heel or too mid foot.

“I watched lots of slow motion footage to compare my running style to that of sprinters. When you put the two against each other it was plain to see a few areas where I could go to improve.

“The work I’ve done gives me confidence from a speed point of view. I’ve done some agility stuff too.

“Another part of the rehab process was time spent doing skills with (England skills coach) Rory Teague, who has been outstanding with me. I’ve done hand eye, passing stuff, eyeball stuff.”