Surfing social media: Dispersing for downtime

  • England leave Denver for well-earned rest
  • Ball park begins week-long period of “R and R”

“Gruesome” was the term Andy Farrell used to describe the exacting, uncompromising schedule that England’s 45-man Rugby World Cup training squad undertook over a fortnight in Colorado’s dry heat

During his playing days across both codes, Farrell forged a deserved reputation for sheer toughness. If a two-time winner of an award called the Man of Steel says something is difficult, you tend to believe him.

On Friday, Stuart Lancaster’s defence guru explained that the group would now take a week of “R and R” to recharge before reconvening at Pennyhill Park ahead of the opening QBE International against France on 15 August.

We skimmed the social media sphere to pick out the players’ sentiments.

Take us out to the ball game

Following a final training session, Friday evening saw a team trip to Coors Field in Denver to watch the Colorado Rockies host the Cincinnati Reds in baseball’s National League.

Matt Kvesic took in the spectacle while showing his support in a Rockies cap:

James Haskell, Chris Ashton, Lee Dickson, Luther Burrell, Richard Wigglesworth and Danny Care played it slightly cooler... 

...but Ben Youngs went the whole hog, positively resplendent in the home side’s white uniform: 

Reflecting on hard work done

The next day brought the trip to a close and Tom Wood gave a typically articulate description of the fortnight’s benefits:

Kieran Brookes refused to downplay the painstaking schedule...

...and front-row buddy Luke Cowan-Dickie backed him right up:

Sam Burgess also focussed on the on-field aspects of his time across the Atlantic with this snap of a sprinting drill:

And Alex Goode’s tweet underlined how tight-knit this set-up has become:

From departure lounge...

Hordes of luggage and winding check-in queues always highlight the logistical challenge of a training camp:

For a certain back-rower though, thoughts were already turning to a top-up fitness session (either that or an impression of Batman villain Bane) during the week off:

From funky facewear to headwear. Jonathan Joseph did not let his mates on the plane until they had donned their caps: cockpit

Once the boys had boarded, captain Chris Robshaw took a glance up front... did Lance Corporal Semesa Rokoduguni. We reckon the reconnaissance tank soldier is just being modest here:

Thoughts of home

We know how fond Jack Nowell is of his native Cornwall. This post reinforced as much:

Getting away from it all

Others hopped abroad for a short break. For Anthony Watson, the Bahamas were calling:

Mike Brown flew to Mallorca:

Burgess brought his pack of cards to Santorini... Joe Marler gathered some ideas for Paris:

Family time

Many of the squad are fathers first and foremost. However, Brad Barritt’s attempt to inject some culture into little Leo’s summer backfired somewhat:

He told us about his hectic life at home, but Dickson would not have it any other way. Here are his boys Josh, Oscar and Charlie on the trampoline:

And we will save the best until last. This video of Elijah Rokoduguni, showing his old man how to improve his core strength, is an absolute winner:


Proper way of doing sit-ups- wee elijah!! #core#goonson#fijistyle

A video posted by Semesa Rokoduguni (@rocco3225) on

Keep up to speed with all the goings on from the camp by following England Rugby’s TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts.