Howey expects England judo work to stay despite Jones injury

England players watch instructors

England have used British Olympians Kate Howey and JP Bell to instruct in judo sessions

Two-time Olympic judo medallist Kate Howey expects England head coach Eddie Jones to continue using the sport in training, despite flanker Sam Jones breaking his leg in a session.

Jones, 24, suffered the injury while grappling with lock Maro Itoje.

“Eddie is looking for every bit of advantage within the game,” Howey told BBC Radio 5 live.

“I think it will carry on because there is a massive crossover in what we do and what players do on the pitch.”

England begin their autumn internationals at Twickenham on 12 November against South Africa, with Tests against Fiji, Argentina and Australia to follow.

Jones will name his squad on 26 October but will be without Bath winger Anthony Watson – who broke his jaw in a clash of heads during training – and uncapped Wasps flanker Jones.

Howey, who won Olympic bronze in 1992 and silver eight years later, said the judo injury was “innocuous” and that Jones “fell awkwardly”.

“I can honestly say I’ve done a lot of rugby/judo sessions and it’s the first time it’s ever happened,” said Howey.

“It was an actual rugby thing because we have been brought in not to teach judo per se, it’s for certain situations in the game of rugby.”


Jamie George and Maro Itoje will hope to be in England’s autumn Tests squad when it is announced on 26 October

England took 37 players, including seven uncapped players, to Brighton for the three-day camp.

Mike Brown and Joe Marler returned to club side Harlequins on Thursday carrying niggles, although the club’s director of rugby John Kingston told BBC Radio 5 live he expects them to play this weekend and had no issues with the intensity of training at the international get together.

Kingston said Quins have also explored judo training, while the club’s former England captain Chris Robshaw, 30, said the discipline allowed players to look for “small improvements”.

“[The training] was about tackling technique and trying to manipulate people,” said Robshaw. “I think when you are fighting for places it always gets pretty competitive.”

England go into their autumn internationals with nine wins from nine matches since Jones took charge in November 2015.

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