Rugby

Jamie George assists with England training during Guinness Women’s Six Nations

England captain Marlie Packer knows George from Saracens, who she has represented since 2017.

Jamie George has been working with the England women’s team
Jamie George has been working with the England women's team Jamie George has been working with the England women’s team (Adam Davy/PA)

Jamie George has been enlisted to help preparations for England’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations clash with Wales after volunteering his services to head coach John Mitchell.

Fresh from leading the England men’s team in an encouraging Championship, George worked with Red Roses hookers Lark Atkin-Davies, Connie Powell, Amy Cokayne and May Campbell at their Surrey training base on Wednesday.

Mitchell struck up a close relationship with the 90-cap Saracens star during his time as Eddie Jones’ assistant and the Kiwi hopes it will be the start of greater knowledge sharing between the senior teams.

Jamie George has been assisting with the hookers in the Red Roses squad
Jamie George has been assisting with the hookers in the Red Roses squad Jamie George has been assisting with the hookers in the Red Roses squad

“I worked with Jamie before and this wasn’t forced or coerced by me. I’ve kept in touch since my departure as a coach and wished him well for the Six Nations,” Mitchell said.

“When I got this role he said if you ever any help just sing out. He was the one who actually encouraged it for this situation. We’ve made it work and I think the girls have enjoyed it.”

England captain Marlie Packer knows George from Saracens, who she has represented since 2017, and sees the benefit of skills swapping with members of Steve Borthwick’s squad.

“The girls really enjoyed it. We don’t want to force it because the men have their own programmes, the same as us, so the timing needs to be right for both,” Packer said.

“We also have that club connection as well, Jamie has been doing some work with me at Saracens. It’s not just about the red roses, I know Bristol Bears do a lot with their men.”

Mitchell has rotated his squad for Saturday’s clash with Wales at Ashton Gate by making seven changes following the 48-0 thumping of Italy in round one.

Centres Tatyana Heard and Megan Jones, half-backs Natasha Hunt and Holly Aitchison, prop Maud Muir, lock Rosie Galligan and number eight Alex Matthews are the new faces.

Back row Sarah Beckett is unavailable until the final match of the tournament against France after receiving a three-match ban for a dangerous clear out against Italy, but Mitchell confirmed she will come into consideration for that game.

Second row Zoe Aldcroft will win her 50th cap after being one of the eight players retained in the starting XV.

“Zoe is a massive competitor. She’s like a little springer spaniel in training! When she speaks, the girls listen,” Packer said.

“Everyone knows she’s world class in everything she does and how she goes about her business.”