No fatigue for England

Twelve months of near constant rugby is coming to a head for England in the next fortnight but England coach Eddie Jones says there’s no challenge keeping players fresh.

Between the World Cup, Premiership and Six Nations, the majority of their squad have been in season since June last year.

In the past, June series have been made up of lukewarm European teams littered with players limping to the end of their Northern Hemisphere season, ripe for the picking.

Saturday’s Brisbane Test backed up Jones’s assertions in week one that England was taking this more seriously than any team before.

Jones said on Thursday night that  the chance to go down in the record books was enough to keep his side playing at the highest intensity. 

“I think the rivalry helps," he said. 

“I think having the opportunity to create history helps.

“Being the first side ever to win a series in Australia is a great motivation because you do  that, you're on the walls of Twickenham forever and that's what this team wants to be. St Kilda baths help, refreshing.”

“They have been playing rugby since June but that's not an excuse not to be motivated to play for England and not to be 100 per cent right and that's what the players are.”

Jack Nowell has embraced a 12-month season. Photo: Getty ImagesRecalled winger Jack Nowell was one who came into camp in less than peak condition but said a brutal year of rugby was actually the best thing for him.

“To be honest it's a positive thing,” he said.

“A couple of years ago I had a knee operation which was pretty serious, to then a couple of years later say I've played a whole year of rugby and I think I've had a couple of weekends off from playing - but they're obviously at the right time and from the coaches that gave me that time off.

“To still be going around and up and running is a very positive thing.

“That's the thing I've taken away from that the most, the fact I'm still feeling fresh despite the amount of training and game time.”

Jones was quick to warn his players against complacency after their opening win and said he hadn’t felt signs of satisfaction creeping into his squad yet.

“We're confident but respectful that Australia's a wounded animal, is going to come hard at us but we've had a good preparation,” he said.

“I think we're in a good spot to play well.”

The former Wallabies coach has spoken ad nauseum about England’s desperation to play well and win this series, but he kyboshed any daydreaming about the final result when asked on Thursday night.

“It's important we play well on Saturday,” he said.

“That's the important hing.

“Play well on Saturday, then everything looks after itself.

“We don't have to worry  about the what ifs, that's not our concern. Our concern is playing well.”

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