|THE England senior team hosted an open training session for 15,000 of their biggest supporters at Twickenham Stadium on Friday.
313 RFU affiliated schools from across the country saw the England team train together at the Home of England Rugby for the first time under new Head Coach Eddie Jones.
Grassroots clubs, local Twickenham residents, England Rugby Supporters Club members, Debenture and box holders, commercial partners and the RFU’s Try for Change charity partners were also in attendance at Friday’s open training, which included a Q&A with new captain Dylan Hartley and players Jack Nowell and James Haskell.
Commenting on the event, Jones said:
“Today’s open training session was a really important moment for the whole England team. Every player on the pitch today started rugby either at school or with their local club and now they are playing for their national side; I hope seeing the team train at Twickenham has offered inspiration to any young players out there. A lot has been achieved in joining the senior squad with the wider game and we want to ensure that continues, while showing our appreciation for all the support as we go into the RBS 6 Nations.
“After today, I’m sure the players are more eager than ever to return to Twickenham when we face Ireland on February 27. I’d like to thank everyone who came out today and showed their support for the team. It means a huge amount to each and every one of us.”
With an original target of 10,000 spectators, the event was expanded to allow for the overwhelming demand for places with residents, school children, rugby club members and fans all wanting to see the new look England team take to the field for the first time as a group in their preparations for the RBS 6 Nations.