England swap the sunshine of Portugal for Bramhope as they prepare for RBS 6 Nations title defence

Stuart Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster

First published in General

England will swap Portugal for Bramhope as they prepare to defend rugby union’s RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Head coach Stuart Lan- caster is to put the country’s top players through their paces at the West Park Leeds club where he assists with junior coaching.

They will also use the weight facilities at the Leeds Rugby Academy at Kirkstall during their January 23-27 training camp.

England have spent their January training week in Portugal since 2009, but Lancaster said: “There are a variety of reasons we wanted to use a different venue centred around wanting to keep the camp in this country.

“The main objectives of the camp is to spend some time together, building the team, reviewing the World Cup but more importantly working together on setting our goals for the Six Nations and beyond and getting on the same page with our rugby game plan.

“By keeping it in England we can create a “new” feel to the camp, in what is a new start. It will allow us to train in conditions that we will be facing up at Murrayfield, create opportunities for the team to stay connected with the public, and allow us to invite in one or two people from outside of rugby to help us shape our future.

RFU Director of Rugby Development Steve Grainger said: “Clubs are at the heart of rugby in this country and it’s fantastic that England are going to train at one which is thriving like West Park Leeds.”

The news of West Park hosting the training camp came on the same day that one of their former players, Harlequins scrum half Danny Care was axed from the England squad after he was charged with drink-driving following an incident in the early hours of New Year's Day.

"I made a bad decision and need to take the punishment," said the scrum-half, 25, who has won 32 England caps.

Three weeks ago he was reprimanded by Lancaster after an arrest for being drunk and disorderly.

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