Rugby Union

Gold Coast storm fails to knock England off course ahead of Australia series

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Football News

Eddie Jones has refused to allow England's preparations for an historic series victory in Australia be disrupted by the ferocious storm that has swept across the Gold Coast.

Gale force winds clocking 60pmh and rainfall totalling over 10 inches, described as a "severe weather event" by meteorologists, have seen emergency services placed on standby in anticipation of flash flooding.

The impact has even been felt at the squad's hotel in Surfers Paradise after the first rainfall in months resulted in water leaking through the lobby roof into large containers.

England arrived in Queenland on Thursday and were able to complete their first training session 24 hours later - just moments before the deluge began - but the following day they trained indoors at a local school.

The three-Test series against the Wallabies opens in Brisbane next Saturday and Jones insists the build-up has not been unsettled by the storm.

"It's been great for our recovery work, so we're quite happy with it. We can't control the weather, so we just put up with it," Jones said.

"We were always coming here for the first week to look to recover and get everyone nice and fresh and mentally right, so we've been able to do that. It's not a real problem for us.

"We had a swim on the first day and nearly lost a couple out on the rift! Hopefully we'll get back in the water on Sunday.

"We're recovering from the long trip and some players played in the Premiership final, so we always looked at this week as a recovery week and that's gone to plan."

Jones reported a clean bill of health for his 32-man squad ahead of Thursday's team announcement with preparations beginning in earnest on Monday, when players from Premiership finalists Saracens and Exeter will be re-introduced.

"The Saracens boys have all been keen to train. We've held them back so far and haven't allowed them to train. They've been requesting to train which is always a good sign," Jones said.

"The Saracens and Exeter boys have had a bit of recovery, but they're good. We're all good to go - no excuses. We're fit and ready to go."

Jones, visiting his native Australia with England for the first time since his appointment as head coach, had his luggage searched by customs officers on arrival at Brisbane Airport.

The 56-year-old is braced for a media-led campaign of mind games during his three-and-a-half-week stay Down Under and has already upset one of his predecessors as Wallabies coach, Bob Dwyer.

Dwyer is disappointed that Jones has been able to lure respected former assistant Australia coach Glen Ella to his management team to oversee the development of England's skills development during the tour.

"I'm a bit dirty with Glen that he has agreed to coach England, but I guess the world is a lot smaller than it used to be. Glen being there will only help England more," said Dwyer, who coached Ella and Jones at Randwick.

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