Eddie Jones is a fan of mixed martial arts and wants his players to learn from Conor McGregor
England went unbeaten in 2016, securing Grand Slam glory and winning their Test tour of Australia 3-0.
However, defence coach Paul Gustard had spotted an area he felt he could improve with some unusual training.
“We got physically controlled on occasion by Australia, particularly in the third Test, and we wanted to be able to control the pace of the gainline,” Gustard said.
England Rugby's 14-game winning streak
Fri, January 6, 2017
Express Sport recaps England Rugby's unbeaten 2016
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England won every single match they played throughout 2016, and are currently on a 14-game winning run dating back to October 2015
“We went on a journey, to New Zealand, to Wigan, to Warrington, we had British Judo come in, went to a couple of MMA centres and then got Jason Ryles [defence coach)] in from Melbourne Storm.
“There are lots of things we can take from mixed martial arts.
“It is about improving certain aspects around the contact area, around the maul and about getting back to your feet post-tackle.
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Eddie Jones believes England and rugby in general can learn from other sports
Conor McGregor beat Eddie Alvarez in November to become UFC double champion
“If you have three or four guys pinning you down, you have to find a way to get out and adapt.
“It’s those sorts of skills that are innate in wrestling or a one-on-one contact sport.”
It is not the first time head coach Eddie Jones has utilised different techniques in practice with England.
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He himself has spent time with Arsenal, Chelsea the England cricket team and even professional cycling outfit Orica-BikeExchange in order to garner extra pieces of coaching wisdom.
However, his use of judo drew some criticism from some quarters when prop Sam Jones broke his leg during one session.
But Jones will not curb his methods – and few can argue with him as his unbeaten streak enters its 15th month.
England will head to Portugal this week for a training camp that will include captain Dylan Hartley, whose ban for a swinging arm last month ends today.
They will then return to England ahead of a tricky opening Six Nations battle with France at Twickenham on February 4.