England’s backs began working with sprint coach Jonas Dodoo on Friday as Eddie Jones’s squad held their first meaningful training session in the Algarve ahead of next month’s Quilter Tests at Twickenham.
The speed specialist, who works as a consultant to players and teams in football and rugby, put the backs through a series of drills while Jones and senior coaches watched on.
The players carried wooden poles above their heads as they did high-step shuttles, before hopping between lines of cones, with Dodoo joking that some of them resembled dolphins.
Then Owen Farrell and his fellow backs donned harnesses and belts for sprints while attached to bungee cords.
That led to a slap-stick moment involving Chris Ashton, as the recalled Sale wing ran until the cord stretched taut then yanked him backwards on to the ground.
He managed to laugh off the embarrassing fall.
England’s forwards emerged from the gym to begin their own outdoor session, with the back-rowers joining John Mitchell for jackal drills involving a dummy lying down with a ball between its arms.
It was an early indication that the former All Blacks head coach’s remit will extend beyond defence.
The Red Rose squad are here in the Algarve until next Thursday, when they will fly home ready for the autumn opener against the Springboks two days later. All 36 players involved in the training camp were fit to train on Friday.
England forwards doing jackal drills with John Mitchell this morning. pic.twitter.com/qzKITxeesl