England ask Gary Neville to motivate Six Nations Squad

Gary Neville

Ex-Manchester United footballer will explain importance of discipline to rugby team

LAST UPDATED AT 09:25 ON Mon 16 Jan 2012

ENGLAND'S interim rugby coach Stuart Lancaster has recruited former Manchester United captain Gary Neville as he bids to rebuild the side after the debacle of the World Cup in New Zealand. Neville is part of the plans and will give a motivational talk at the national side's training camp where they are preparing for their Six Nations campaign.
 
Neville, capped 85 times for England's football team, will talk about what playing for one's country represents and how important discipline is to an international side.
 
This last point is something Lancaster will be particularly keen to drum into his new look side, after the negative headlines the England rugby team's off-pitch antics attracted at last year’s World Cup.
 
Along with Neville, a number of other speakers are being brought in to talk to the 32-man squad over the course of a four-day training camp being held at Yorkshire Division Two club West Park Leeds.
 
The location chosen for the meeting is significant; Lancaster is keen to bring his team down to earth, and the north of England in January is a far cry from previous manager Martin Johnson's choice of luxury training bases in the sun-kissed Algarve.
 
Alongside Neville, other figures called in to speak to the squad include British Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford, who will instruct them on elite performance, and Simon Brown, who was shot in the face while serving as an army corporal in Iraq.
 
As The Daily Telegraph reports, Brown will be talking to the players about the significance of representing one’s country and said he will remind them that, while they are very talented, they are young and still have a lot to learn.
 
Brown previously gave a presentation to rugby league team Warrington before a 2010 Challenge Cup match, which they went on to win.   
 
The corporal said he would tell the England squad: "Be proud to wear your national shirt… How many of us wouldn’t offer up limbs to have the opportunity to put on our national shirt, and you guys have that opportunity."
  · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.