Bulked-up Ben Earl powered through Welsh defenders to secure England’s opening try in the weekend clash, showcasing his development as a Test-level No 8.
Despite concerns that his added weight might affect his stamina towards the match’s end, the 26-year-old, earning his 27th cap on Saturday, proved his mettle.
Reflecting on a six-week lay-off due to minor knee surgery in November, Earl utilised the time to strategise on enhancing his game following an impressive World Cup stint.
With a focus on improving his performance in high-pressure situations, Earl is determined to thrive even amidst heavy traffic on the field.
The results have delivered instant results with Earl making a Six Nations high 26 carries in the opening two rounds of the 2024 Six Nations.
“Well I had that time out injured, so I had a bit of a think about what I needed in terms of contributing to this team, me as a player,” he said.
“I’m about two kilos heavier than I was probably during the World Cup. That might have a knock-on effect in certain bits, perhaps the ability to run at about 79 minutes. But I’ve put on a bit of lean mass, [it’s] not too different.”
DID YOU KNOW? At school level Earl played much more cricket than rugby; he was an all-rounder and played for Kent until he was 15
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Amazing body transformations of 6 rugby stars, including McCaw and Pocock
These rugby players have enjoyed a remarkable body transformation over the years, with some bulking up while others seriously slimmed down.
The All Blacks legendary captain has revealed he’s dropped 17kg since retiring, shifting what he called ‘unnecessary rugby muscle’.
Since hanging up his boots following their 2015 World Cup triumph, McCaw has become obsessed with ultra-hardcore marathons and has shifted a lot of that weight to give him a speed advantage.
The 41-year-old, who weighed 107 kg, is now closer to 90kg since dropping the weight.
The Wallabies legend started out as an skinny 78kg teen who worked day in and day out to transform himself, with his size and strength came at a cost, Pocock told Australian Story.