SAS: Who Dares Wins star to issue rallying cry at England base ahead of Six Nations battle with France
England have enlisted SAS: Who Dares Wins star Jason Fox to mastermind a crack Six Nations victory against France.
The former Royal Marine Commando will address Steve Borthwick’s squad before holding a question-and-answer session at England’s base for the week in Brighton.
Ex-Special Boat Service operative Fox has found fame in Channel 4’s hit TV show where members of the public try to pass the SAS selection process. England prop Mako Vunipola revealed Fox as the Red Rose men’s latest guest speaker, describing how the people of note who address the Test squad always leave a lasting impression.
Saracens front-rower and Manchester United fan Vunipola branded Roy Keane as his favourite-ever England speaker. He hailed Keane’s compelling talk, with the England players hanging off the decorated former United midfielder-turned-pundit’s every word.
“Jason Fox is coming in to give us a talk and answer some questions,” said Vunipola, with England hosting France at Twickenham on Saturday, March 11.
“Little things always stay with you from those talks.
“I’d say Roy Keane has been my favourite. Obviously his career speaks for itself, he’s a serial winner. I’m a United supporter anyway, so when they said he was coming in I was buzzing for that.
“But when he spoke to us he was a great character, very funny, a great story teller. But also you can see he has an intensity to him that whatever he says I’m following him.
“He was a great person to have in, in many respects to be honest. Even now I’ll go back and say, ‘Do you remember when Roy came in?’ and everyone just remembers it.
“You don’t really remember the stories, but you do remember just sitting there and being glued to it, listening to every word he says.”
England have spent their Six Nations fallow week in a three-day training camp in Brighton, working hard at Brighton College’s facilities and staying in a seafront hotel.
New head coach Borthwick’s early tenure has seen England’s daily schedule switch around, with players given more free time. And Vunipola revealed a nucleus of England players have set up a casual Gin Rummy card school.
“I love playing cards at the minute, so probably just play cards and chill out,” said Vunipola. “It’s Gin Rummy we’re playing. There’s quite a lot of rules that come with it but that’s probably for me what I’ll be doing this afternoon.
“There’s quite a few who get involved to be honest but consistently, me, Jack Walker, Jack Van Poortvliet, Jack Willis comes in now and then and then Joe Marchant and Freddie Steward. It’s probably me and then the young lads!”
England ground past Wales 20-10 in Cardiff last weekend for their second win of the Six Nations. Borthwick’s men will now host France at Twickenham on Saturday week, with a trip to Ireland to close out their tournament on March 18.
We have to have confidence, we can’t go into these games already accepting defeat.
England have slipped to sixth in the world rankings, primarily off the back of the awful 2022 that cost Eddie Jones his job.
The Red Rose men now face world number two France and the globe’s number-one side Ireland in a daunting Six Nations finale.
“We have to have confidence, we can’t go into these games already accepting defeat,” said Vunipola. “We know all we can do is go out there and put in a performance we’re proud of.
“If we do that we can walk off with our heads held high. Hopefully we can take the challenge to them. There are a lot of things we need to fix up from the game before and all we can do is day by day take steps.”