All eyes on Saturday: England ramp up their preparations for Rugby World Cup final against South Africa with their last intense training session in Tokyo as Owen Farrell and Jonny May take it easy after suffering dead legs
- England are getting ready to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final
- Eddie Jones put his players through their last intensive session on Wednesday
- Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler is attempting to recover from a knock to his calf
- Owen Farrell and Jonny May were kept away from the backs after dead legs
- Jones will name his team for Saturday’s clash in the early hours of Thursday
England’s players took part in their last intensive midweek training session on Wednesday before Eddie Jones finalises his line-up for the World Cup final against South Africa.
Wednesdays are when preparations in the Red Rose camp reach a peak, before the squad go into fine-tuning mode over the final 48 hours prior to a game.
England travelled from their hotel in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo to their out-of-town training base for the week, close to the Tokyo Stadium where they beat Argentina on October 5.
Maro Itoje (centre) leads the way as England train in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon
Eddie Jones, pictured with Joe Marler, put his squad through their last intense session
Light aircraft were taking off behind the pitches from nearby Chofu airport as Jones’ players stepped up their build-up to facing South Africa, under bright blue skies – in contrast to the wet and grey conditions on Tuesday. When the drills began, it was noticeable that certain key players were not involved with the main group.
Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler was going through various exercises to aid his recovery from a minor knock to his right calf, sustained in the epic semi-final win over New Zealand last weekend.
England have not flown out a tighthead as cover, which suggests they fully expect the Lion to be available for the grand occasion on Saturday, but Sinckler was initially limited to hopping and stretching, while most of his team-mates engaged in rugby-related activity.
Harlequins prop Kyle Sinckler was not involved in the full session as he recovers from injury
England’s stars gather in a huddle as they gear up for the World Cup final against South Africa
Likewise, captain Owen Farrell and Jonny May were kept away from the rest of the backs. The pair were also put through a series of loosening-up exercises, having both suffered dead legs in the clash with the All Blacks.
However, all the official updates have indicated that they will be passed fit to take their places in the starting XV for the decider against South Africa.
Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer was taking part in training after arriving at the start of this week as a replacement for Gloucester’s Willi Heinz – who is still with the England squad.
As the backs were put through their paces by attack coach Scott Wisemantel, George Ford and Manu Tuilagi were working closely in tandem, and it is understood that Ford will retain the No 10 shirt for the final.
Jones is due to name his team in the early hours of Thursday morning, UK time.
Captain Owen Farrell was kept away from the rest of the backs after suffering a dead leg