"Getting feisty" - Tempers flare in England training as squad ups intensity - Ruck

“Getting feisty” – Tempers flare in England training as squad ups intensity

England have ramped up preparations for the back end of Rugby World Cup pool play with a high-intensity midweek training hitout.

Marcus Smith and captain Owen Farrell are set to make their first starts to the tournament, according to reports.

Ahead of the Chile clash, where reports suggest training has been intense, Borthwick said: “They compete really hard at the breakdown. They go for the ball and challenge you in line speed and defence,” he said.

“They want you to make errors and with the ball they attack hard, particularly from 15. They are going to move you around and if you are not right on it, they can cause you problems.”

Borthwick admitted his team can improve their attacking and isn’t concerned about boos from the crowd.

“We are not happy with where we are attack-wise. We are striving to improve. But that is not to do with the kicking game. It’s not separate from it either,” he added.

“It’s all part of the same stuff. We want to kick the ball brilliantly, so that we can either get it back in a better position, or kick to score. All parts of the games we are working on.

“As far as the booing goes, it’s part and parcel of what you do in international sport. You are in the biggest arenas with the fans who are entitled to do what they feel right. From my point of view, the fans have been exceptional. We will strive to improve and make sure, with the ball, we can be as efficient as we can be.”

Biggest Training Ground Bust-Ups in Rugby History

Here are five occasions when things got a little bit too competitive between teammates on the training ground.

5. Paul O’Connell vs Ryan Caldwell

O’Connell lost his nerve with the Ulster second-row in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup. The Munster legend threw a punch and he went down, unconscious with a tooth bursting his cheek. Caldwell swallowed a lot of blood and an ambulance had to rush him to the hospital. The team doctor later told O’Connell: “The story is, you nearly killed him.”

The Ireland legend, who would often involved in training ground scraps, would never be involved in another after he learned from this incident that a single punch could hurt someone badly.