Dylan Hartley wants scrum intensity with Georgia for Six Nations preparation
By Press Association
Last Updated: 11/02/18 11:04pm
England will scrummage against Georgia this week with Dylan Hartley demanding the sessions match the levels of a Test match.
There is a week's break for the Six Nations and the Georgians will spend Tuesday and Wednesday providing Eddie Jones' pack with an examination of their set-piece expertise.
A similar event was staged against Wales in Bristol before the 2017 autumn series and it was deemed a success, inspiring England to set up a similar scenario against one of the game's most accomplished scrummaging nations.
Speaking after Saturday's hard-fought win over Wales, England captain and hooker Hartley said: "Every scrum has to be intense otherwise you get folded up like a travel map stuffed in your back pocket.
"I'm looking forward to it. It will be a really useful tool and I'm sure they will take something from it as well.
"We're always looking to improve our scrum. It has been going well for us. They are good players who play Top 14, good operators.
"You think that by mixing it up and training against someone different we will find something out about ourselves and we will learn.
"If I scrum against Jamie George, Alec Hepburn and Harry Williams they know what we are trying to do, we know what they are trying to do and we end up negating each other."
Head coach Jones had floated the idea of England travelling to Tbilisi to train against Georgia before it was decided they would visit London, with the Rugby Football Union picking up the cost of accommodation.
"We'll do scrums and line-outs against them. We want to have the best scrum in the world and they're the biggest, ugliest, strongest scrum pack in the world," Jones said.
"Why wouldn't we want to scrummage against them? It's fantastic. We're good friends with their two coaches, Milton Haig and Richard Graham - a Kiwi and an Aussie. They were keen on the idea and it suits us perfectly.
"We want to win the Six Nations but we're also using this as a trial for the World Cup, so it's a great opportunity for us to get some really quality scrum practice in.
"It will be practice, but we will do the same number of scrums that we would have in a game."