England: Harry Randall leaves sinking feeling behind

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

England’s three-day training camp in London recently featured an interesting Thames kayaking experience for scrum-half Harry Randall and his team-mates.

The squad did a ‘Misogi’ on Wednesday morning, a Japanese purification ritual introduced by coach Eddie Jones – who is of Japanese heritage – designed to bring the team closer together.

Enjoyable. To an extent.

It was to be a kayaking exercise, but all did not go entirely to plan, according to Randall.

“We were in and out of the Thames just out the back of the hotel, which was enjoyable to an extent. We had kayaks and canoes and a few challenges around that,” Randall said.

“There were four teams, we kayaked up the river and then went in and out of the water. It was going very well until the last 100 metres when our canoe and kayaks just filled with water and sank, just like that.

“We had to get to the side to get out and empty out all the water and then rebuild and unfortunately we came last. It’s a way to bring each other together, work as a team and problem-solve.

“It’s also a mental challenge, how can you best stay mentally in the zone for as long as possible, under a lot of stress and fatigue. It challenges us in different ways.”

England will face a challenge of extreme stress and fatigue at the end of a long season as they head to Australia for the July Test series.

The Wallabies have had a few lean years, but recent results suggest that the team is beginning to rise again under coach Dave Rennie.

The last time England were down under for a series in 2016, they whitewashed the hosts, and there are enough survivors from that tour in the current squad to give the newbies such as Randall a good idea both of what to expect and how to go about winning.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and hopefully beat them 3-0 again like the boys did in 2016. It’s a massive challenge,” Randall said.

“We’ve had few chats around 2016, what it’s like to go to Australia and about some of the boys’ experiences out there. The 2016 tour was very successful.

“Some of those boys relayed back what it took to be successful out there and what it’ll take again. It’s good to have some of that experience in and around the squad.

“Australia are a newish squad on the rise. What better way to challenge ourselves than against an up-and-coming Australia team? We’ll really look forward to that and embrace it.”

READ MORE: No space for Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell in Gregor Townsend’s 40-man Scotland squad

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