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England prepare for Six Nations showdown with Italy at Kensington Leisure Centre

The rugby stars spent two days at the £30m Silchester Road sports centre which opened in March 2015

England No 8 Nathan Hughes hands over a signed shirt to Kensington Leisure Centre general manager Oliver Stacey(Image: UGC TMS)

England’s record-breaking rugby league players have been preparing for their next Six Nations battle against Italy by ramping up their training at Kensington Leisure Centre.

Eddie Jones’ men visited the new £30 million sports centre in Silchester Road on Tuesday (February 14) to swim in the 25 metre pool and do some active recovery work in the water, and were back again on Thursday (February 16) for training and a game of water polo.

Number 8, Nathan Hughes, handed the centre’s general manager Oliver Stacey a signed England shirt on behalf of the team and as a thank-you you for the warm welcome they received.

England are currently top of the Six Nations table with victories in their opening two games against Wales and France, taking their winning run to a 16 matches.

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The England Rugby Union team file in through the door at Kensington Leisure Centre(Image: UGC TMS)

Tom Tombleson, England’s senior strength and conditioning coach, said: “The players have really enjoyed coming here this week. The facilities are fantastic and the staff have been very welcoming.

“The squad have really benefited from the water resistance training. The water polo session seemed to go down well with the players too.”

Mr Stacey said: “It’s been fantastic to have the England players and coaching staff training at Kensington Leisure Centre this week.

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“The fact we are able accommodate one of the world’s best international rugby teams highlights the quality of the facilities.

“It’s also been truly inspiring for our staff and users of the centre who had the opportunity to train alongside some sporting legends.”

The leisure centre opened in March 2015 and is regarded as one of London’s finest.

England next take on Italy at Twickenham on Sunday (February 26).

New Zealand hold the longest winning run in international rugby at 18 games.

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