Six Nations 2022: England get pep talk from Jessica Ennis-Hill as Olympic hero watches stars take dip in freezing sea

EDDIE JONES’ England had a pep talk from Jessica Ennis-Hill ahead of their Six Nations tilt.

The London 2012 heptathlon gold medallist visited the squad in their Brighton hotel on Tuesday then watched them take a dip in the freezing sea.


She chatted about managing pressure and her return from pregnancy to claim silver in Rio in 2016.

Maro Itoje then led the charge to a local boozer to run a team meeting after a fire meant they had to evacuate their hotel.

Ennis-Hill posted snaps of herself on social media wrapped up against the cold as the players did a team-building challenge in icy waters around Brighton in their swimming trunks.

Jones said: “They’re all dealing with expectation and Jess spoke about how she did that, how she handled social media and communication with her coaches.

“There were some really good points for the players to absorb.

“Maro Itoje and George Furbank organised a Q&A in which I embarrassed myself at the start by calling her the wrong name.

“It’s a bit embarrassing for the team that their head coach is such a dodo. We all make mistakes and we get on with it.

“She was really good and had good messages for the team, particularly for the young guys coming through.”

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Flanker Tom Curry said: “It was about her process, you’ve got an expectation but it’s about not pushing too hard and making sure you keep improving.

“Especially when she had her setbacks and injuries — her expectations might change but she’s got to keep pushing and progressing.

“Her ability to adapt and keep evolving was massive. It showed with her coming back from her pregnancy to win a silver medal, which is testament to her work.”

Jones has often brought stars from other sports into camp, including Aussie rugby league great Andrew Johns and Roy Keane before the last World Cup.

The squad had to evacuate the Harbour Hotel in the evening when a fire broke out on the seafront. They secured alternative digs in the nearby Hilton while Itoje led the trip to the pub.

Jones added: “I don’t think he did a great job with the pints.

"We were all about to start an important session for the players which is their team communication, where they talk about how they operate with our squad psychologist.

“It was a really good example of being adaptable and  how we’re trying to devolve the leadership of the team.”

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