Surfing social media: England arrive in Denver

  • Lancaster’s players get ready for some hard graft 
  • Coffee trips, bike rides and some UFC watching out in Denver

England’s 45-man squad flew out to Denver this weekend ahead of the next phase of their exacting preparation schedule for the Rugby World Cup, which begins in earnest on 18 September with the tournament-opening encounter against Fiji at Twickenham. 

Stuart Lancaster’s charges have already been together for three weeks at Pennyhill Park, undergoing an arduous fitness programme.

Over the next fortnight across the Atlantic Ocean, rugby-based drills are incorporated alongside more tough work at altitude.

Here is a selection of tweets and Instagram posts from the players as they looked forward to the trip, took to the skies and touched down in the United States of America.

Slater’s send-off

Leicester Tigers lock Ed Slater was among the five men from the initial 50-man group to remain on these shores on standby.

However, he put aside bitter disappointment to epitomise the rock-solid togetherness that has developed:

Packing up

Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell had a suitcase companion...

Damn.....was secretly hoping #Boofrenchiebull was going to be in my suitcase now im unpacking!!

A photo posted by Jack Nowell (@jacknowell) on

...while Ben Youngs was only too happy to help out with some autograph signing at the airport after the short coach journey from Pennyhill Park:

Ready and willing

Brad Barritt, Tom Wood and Rob Webber have been in the international fold for the majority of Lancaster’s four-year tenure.

Even so, this would be their first taste of a Rugby World Cup. And the trio seem set on landing selection in the final squad of 31:

Meanwhile, Danny Cipriani appears intent on honing his skills as well:

Tweet from your seat

Selfies and seat plans were on the agenda as the plane waited on the runway, neighbours Nowell and Richard Wigglesworth passing the time before departure:

Finally, Ben Morgan revealed that his co-passenger would be Gloucester Rugby ally Jonny May:

Touch down

Nine hours following take-off, the players filed out into arrivals:

Finding their feet

With training not due to start until the beginning of this week, the squad flushed out the journey by relaxing.

Kieran Brookes, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola took a front-row bike ride:

Bike ride round Denver this aft.. This place is awesome 🚲

A photo posted by Kieran Brookes (@kbrookes3) on

And Corbisiero took in the UFC 189 mixed martial arts bout between Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes:

Luke Cowan-Dickie was an immediate convert:

Local cuisine

Veterans of the 2010 Churchill Cup in the same city, Corbisiero and Lee Dickson told England Rugby’s Player Diary that Denver offered some fantastic tastes.

Indeed, captain Chris Rosbhaw wasted no time in checking out the city's coffee:

Trying some of the many blends and bean options Denver has to offer. @bwrwinchester #coffeeshop

A photo posted by Chris Robshaw (@chrisrobshawrugby) on

For Matt Kvesic, it was a slither of cheesecake calling his name:

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