Owen Farrell insists England’s Saracens contingent will race out of the blocks when the Guinness Six Nations begins against Scotland at Twickenham on February 6.
Only Billy Vunipola has played since the triumphant Autumn Nations Cup final against France in early December, the number eight making one appearance in a second-tier competition.
Farrell, Maro Itoje, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola and Elliot Daly have been inactive, but England’s captain insists the time has been put to good use.
“We have seen it as an opportunity to get some good training under our belts,” Farrell said.
“Over the past few years we haven’t had much of an opportunity for a pre-season to get ourselves some good training. So this time has been massive.
“We’ve not been injured, we have been working hard off the field with pre-season stuff – running and gym – to make sure we are strong enough.
“Then we’ve had a ball in our hands. It’s not like we have been sat on a physio bed. We have been training for this.
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“We are doing all we can do to be in the best position to cope with match fitness. We have 10 days to prepare and the rugby training comes into that.”
Head coach Eddie Jones views the opportunity to train without playing as invaluable.
“The Saracens boys, over the last five years, have played six seasons of rugby,” Jones said.
“For them to actually have a pre-season now is a God-send. They will come back in much better condition than they’d normally be in at this time of year.”