posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 07:30 AM
England boss Andy Robinson has confirmed the world champions will spend three days training with Super League giants Leeds Rhinos next month.
The cross-code initiative has been rubber-stamped following talks between Robinson and Australian Tony Smith, coach of the Super League champions.
England will use the sessions - in Leeds - as a key part of preparations for their RBS Six Nations Championship opener against Wales at the Millennium
Stadium on February 5.
"Any team involved in professional sport can learn from other sports," said Robinson, who played for Bath against Wigan in two cross-code challenge
games eight years ago.
"These are the little things that make a difference. Continually taking the players out of their comfort zone is no bad thing, and it applies pressure
in different ways.
"It is all about creating a different environment. Their rules are a bit different; there is more space and security of possession for them, but when
you strip it all down it's still rugby - union or league."
The gathering, from January 17-19, will be of particular interest to Robinson's assistants, former rugby league coaches Joe Lydon and Phil Larder.
"You study anything you think could give you new ideas - and if you don't then you will be left behind," said Lydon.
"When I was England sevens coach in recent years I looked closely at basketball, because there are a lot of similarities in offence and defence with
"League is a great sport. In many ways, it is a simpler game than union - with no scrummaging time or line-out - but our players will learn from