England will step up their preparations for the forthcoming International Origin Match later today when national coach Steve McNamara and the 32-strong Elite Training Squad gather for an intensive two-day camp at Loughborough University.
Team selection plans and tactic for the match against the Exiles, a team drawn from the pick of Australian and New Zealand players in Engage Super League, will feature prominently on the agenda at the second ETS camp of 2011.
“These camps are important parts of our planning and preparation, not just for the Exiles game but for the Four Nations at the end of the year.”
All 32 members of the ETS will be involved to varying degrees, including the players who are currently sidelined by injury such as Leeds Rhinos full-back Ben Jones Bishop and Leon Pryce, the St Helens stand-off.
“All the players have a part to play during the camp, it’s very important that they are involved and feel able to contribute,” added McNamara.
“It’s not just about us telling them what we want them to do; this is an opportunity for us to listen to what the elite players in our competition have to say.
“Our last camp was very much about theory and explaining the need for us to do things the England way: this time the emphasis is going to be more on the practical nature of our preparations and I envisage it being a very rewarding experience for all concerned.”
As well as the ETS players, McNamara will be joined by his full backroom team in their last gathering before they go into camp for a third time this year on the Sunday before the International Origin Match on Friday June 10.