x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Johnson's leap of faith: Team bungee jumps

Martin Johnson has a policy of treating his players as adults, so he did not bat an eye when several of his players used their off-day from the Rugby World Cup to go bungee jumping in Queenstown.

Several England players went bungee-jumping Monday as they took advantage of a day off from training in the mountain resort of Queenstown.

Situated in the Southern Lakes area of New Zealand's south island, and with a mountain range boasting Ben Lomond, which has a summit of more than 5,000 feet (1,700 metres), Queenstown calls itself the "Adventure Capital of the World".

Among the activities on offer are white-water rafting, skiing and paragliding.

The England management had been coy on Sunday as to whether players would be allowed to go bungee-jumping days before their facing Georgia in their second Rugby World Cup match. Despite the possibility of injury, several England players took the plunge.

This was all in line with Martin Johnson's policy of treating his players like grown-ups and trusting them not to go overboard in their socialising.

"When I started playing rugby at senior level you were dealing with blokes," Johnson, the England manager, said last month.

"They treated us like adults, and there is no reason to change that now. They are professionals and things are far more organised in the game."

Elsewhere, Digby Ioane, the Australia winger, has fractured his right thumb but may be available late in the tournament.