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  1. ITV Report

England World Cup Rugby squad get put through their paces ahead of team selection in Cornwall

Piers Francis (left) with Dan Robson at the secret overnight camp at RAF St Mawgan. Credit: UK MoD Crown copyright 2019

England rugby players were put through their paces in Cornwall as they had to endure a military survival experience ahead of squad selection.

All 31 players travelled to a small piece of woodland at RAF St Mawgan, none of them knowing where they were going or why.

Instructors then tested the players’ resilience and teamwork at a secret training camp which involved survival skills, surfing and high ropes.

Anthony Watson lights a campfire to keep warm. Credit: UK MoD Crown copyright 2019

Without any way of contacting the outside world, the players had to focus on surviving – with only their teammates there to support them.

They had to work out how to build a shelter, start a fire and make a bed from whatever nature provided.

Eddie Jones and his coaching staff watched on to see how the players reacted and worked together and who naturally took the lead.

England boss Eddie Jones watched on as players were put through their paces. Credit: UK MoD Crown copyright 2019

Just a huge thank you from us guys for letting us come down here and use your facilities. It’s been challenging, particularly last night, and stuff like this is great for us to take into what we’ve got coming up in the next few weeks.

– George Ford, England player

The following day each player was tested further by clinging to high ropes and poles, with no time to take in the view over Newquay.

The final tests were in the water with a surfing lesson and other water-based activities.

At the end of the day the team were finally allowed to relax, enjoying a social gathering on Lusty Glaze beach, before the journey back to London.