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“Boys Were Sent To The Corner Of The Pitch” – England Target Discipline

England discipline

Aside from the impact of Typhoon Hagibis, the main talking point from the Rugby World Cup is discipline and the standard of refereeing. 

So far in the tournament, eight red cards and 28 yellow cards have been dished out, many of which have come as a result of high tackles.

It is something that the referees for this weekend’s semi-finals, Jerome Garces and Nigel Owens, will be on high alert for and with that in mind, England have concocted their own form of punishment for ill-discipline in training.

“We put a big emphasis on our discipline throughout pre-season”, said Ben Youngs on Wednesday.


“If boys did things in training they were sent to the corner of the pitch to get a bit of a flogging and stuff.

“We’ve put a big emphasis on discipline because it’s something previously we haven’t always been terrific at.

“But in this tournament, we’ve been very, very good and we’ve been pleased at how we’ve been able to make sure we’ve stayed disciplined. At the weekend, it is going to be absolutely vital.”

The practise appears to be very effective. Eddie Jones’ side are one of just four teams who have yet to receive a card in the tournament alongside hosts Japan, Tonga and Scotland.

Youngs believes England are now fully aware of just how important discipline is.

“A few down-ups, a few runs [is the punishment]. It’s normally the big boys that spend the time there and go with the strength and conditioning coach.

“We want to make the team aware, and we’ve made them aware, of the importance of discipline.”

England will have to maintain their impressive discipline record when they face off against the All Blacks in the semi-final on Saturday.

New Zealand annihilated Ireland in their quarter-final appearance but England’s performances and training so far have given Jones’ side the belief that they can qualify for the World Cup final.

“We have confidence. Every time we take the field, there is a belief we can win. And this week will be no different. We built up the belief last week, before playing Australia, and we will build up the belief this week ahead of New Zealand.

“That comes from how we prepare, how we train. We have a big session this afternoon (Wednesday), and we will keep layering on that. Come Saturday we will be in a position where we have complete confidence in how we want to play. Belief comes from clarity. We will make sure we have our clarity locked down.”


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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter