Malta Training Camp - “Live by the sword, Die by the sword!”

Tired bodies and aching limbs are now becoming part of the daily routine, so much so that the local nightlife doesn’t seem quite so appealing. Internal self-help for rubs and extended pool rehab have cured most of the issues and where we have needed a more expert practitioner, the local variety of Chinese Masseuses have been more than willing to help. The squad focus is now firmly on the Marine Nationale and Inter-service outputs, and we are actively engaged in better understanding our own strengths and analysing their weaknesses. The field sessions at the Marsa sports complex continue around the common theme of developing the component parts of the game plan before putting them all together in the final sessions. To date we have been making really good progress and the squad are now in a better place with deeper understanding and coherency developing across the piece. They are all still fit and healthy and the Maltese sun is now out - there is definitely something to be said about training in the warmth of the Mediterranean heat – it certainly looks and feels more like Twickenham in May than Gosport in March!

From the point of view of having to manage this hungry group of sportsmen, we have definitely fallen on our feet with some excellent support from the hotel chefs. They have been happily providing good wholesome Mediterranean fare, which as ever is filling and bountiful – and once we had explained just how many eggs we were going to need at breakfast, the staff have been feeding our ravenous mob successfully without any complaint.

As ever, coming to the Mediterranean out of season probably means you do need to be somewhat prepared for the odd bit of upheaval – in our case St Patricks Day celebrations being held right under our nose, the fact that Malta seems to have a Ladies Night every other night and Bank Holidays are seemingly liberally arranged just for good measure - have all stretched the managerial task of keeping the boys focussed. That said the squad have been true to their task and the Team Managers haven’t had to enforce strict denial regimes – simple remind them of the next planned S&C session and the Squads adopted mantra of “Live by the sword, Die by the sword!”

The Consolidation period has been good – the guys are relaxed, they are all still smiling but they’re very tired. Everyone is looking forward to the next game at Worcester, which will be a definitive step up from the first half of the season and ideal preparation for what’s to come in ‘Le Crunch 2015’ at Portsmouth 1 April. Back next week.