Wales v England: John Terry gives pep talk to Eddie Jones' team

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
England coach Richard Hill (left) and former Chelsea defender John Terry
Former Chelsea defender John Terry (right) and England team manager Richard Hill in discussion at Bagshot
Six Nations: Wales v England
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 23 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

England's rugby players have been given a pep talk by former footballer John Terry before the crunch Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff.

The ex-England captain spent the morning at the Bagshot training base, exchanging ideas on issues such as leadership and motivation with both players and coaches.

"The players were really engaged by talking to him," forwards coach Steve Borthwick told BBC Sport.

"He gave some great messages."

Borthwick, who also confirmed lock Maro Itoje would miss the game in Cardiff with his knee problem, said the England camp had been able to relate to Terry's experience as a player and a coach.

"He spoke about the traits in the highly successful teams he has been a part of, which are consistent with the type of thing we talk about: the competitiveness, the drive in training, players taking responsibility," Borthwick added.

"Those are the themes we discussed and that is what we want to drive here."

Borthwick said Terry, who is a coach at Championship side Aston Villa, had emphasised the importance of a strong leadership core in successful sporting teams, with England boss Eddie Jones often stressing the need for his side to develop in this area.

"We spoke about the leadership density, and he spoke about the strength of that within the teams he has been part of," Borthwick said.

"All the successful teams have had a great group of leaders; that is something we are well aware of and continue to try and develop."

Winger Joe Cokanasiga, who made a try-scoring comeback for Bath on Saturday after two months out with a knee injury, is in contention to face Wales after coach Eddie Jones cut his 33-man squad to 25 players.

Jones will finalise his starting XV and replacements on Thursday morning.

England squad

Forwards: Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), T Curry (Sale Sharks), Ewels (Bath Rugby), Genge (Leicester Tigers), George (Saracens), Hughes (Wasps), Kruis (Saracens), Launchbury (Wasps), Lawes (Northampton Saints), Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Shields (Wasps), Sinckler (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Wilson (Newcastle Falcons).

Backs: Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Daly (Wasps), Farrell (Saracens, captain), Ford (Leicester Tigers), May (Leicester Tigers), Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Robson (Wasps), Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Released: Brown (Harlequins), Cole (Leicester Tigers), Devoto (Exeter Chiefs), Earl (Saracens), Ewels (Bath Rugby), Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Singleton (Worcester Warriors), Thorley (Gloucester Rugby).


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