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England U20s leave lasting legacy in France

04 July 2013

  • England U20s leave lasting legacy at French gym
  • Future generations can benefit – Neil Taylor

Inside the gym

Photo: RFU Archive

England Under 20s may have left French shores with the IRB Junior World Championship trophy last month, but the legacy of that win will live for a while yet in north west France.

England were based at Rugby Club Sablais in Les Sables d'Olonne for the Pool stage of the competition and brought their own gym equipment to the club.

Professional fitness and exercise equipment company Sportesse provided the equipment, and also installed a new, custom fitted floor, with integrated Olympic lifting platforms.

The floor will remain at the club after an agreement amongst the club, Sportesse and the RFU. Something England U20 strength and conditioning coach Neil Taylor is delighted about. He said: “The people from the club were extremely supportive for the duration of our stay. 

"With the addition of the gym, the facilities provided were ideal for an international squad. I’m delighted we were able to leave the gym floor, as it means that future generations of rugby players at Rugby Club Sablais can benefit. They don’t have a tradition of using Olympic lifting at the club, but they now have a facility that is ideally suited for a range of strength and power training techniques that will benefit player performance and reduce injuries.”

England celebrate win

Photo: RFU Archive

RFU Head of Sports Science Roy Headey added: “The Premiership clubs and academies delivered a group of players in great condition for us to create what proved to be a World Cup winning side.  In return, we did everything we could to return the players to their clubs in the same great shape, so having a top quality gym was a vital resource for us. 

"The margins between peaking physically and over-training are tiny, so we had every base covered: strength training in the gym, time spent on feet and distances run – which we measured using the GPS – diet, recovery and every aspect of well-being. 

"Getting these things right won’t win you a World Cup on their own, but getting them wrong will mean you’ll lose. We’re so grateful to the Rugby Club Sablais for their unstinting help in putting the gym together and the RFU and Sportesse are delighted we were able to leave the new floor behind for their future benefit.”