Early signs delight Rowntree

Date published: June 30 2015

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree is excited by the potential and effort from his squad in the early days of their World Cup training camp.

Rowntree, speaking at a press conference at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, sighted the hunger in the group as being a positive as they train in 30 degrees heat.

He was also thrilled to welcome back three players for Tuesday's session.

"Stephen Myler, Luther Burrell and Alex Goode will all take part in training today. The lads have trained really hard last week and are in for another tough week this week, particularly this afternoon when we've got a horrible session for them which is as it should be," Rowntree said in front of a packed out press room.

And on what he wants from the squad? "Endeavour," added the former prop. 

"We want them to push themselves to the limit and to a place they have never been before and they're doing that so far because that's what it's going to take to win a World Cup. We need as fit as possible but the early signs are that they're training as hard as I've seen for a long time.

"We've got an excellent programme in place which includes a lot of running and they're taking to it very well. This phase is about conditioning. We need to get base fitness levels. The rugby will kick in when we get to Denver cause it's a long competition so we need to first get them fit."

England will be without experienced hooker Dylan Hartley for this World Cup due to disciplinary issues but Rowntree believes they are still strong up front whilst he also hailed how the players have been performing at the start of the camp.

"We have got at our disposal now a group of players that we've never had before. We've never had such a large group of fit, young talent men at our disposal. That genuinely excites me," he said.

"I'm delighted with the four hookers we've got here. We've got some experience with Rob Webber and Tom Youngs but we have also got two guys in there who have really impressed me. 

"We saw the form of Jamie George towards the end of this season and in that Premiership final I thought he was outstanding. 

"Luke Cowan-Dickie has been on our radar for a long time, ever since he was in that U20 World Cup winning side two years ago. I've watched him closely and I love the way he plays the game. I'm happy with the blend of experience and young dynamic lads coming through."