England try to bridge the identity gap by taking a ‘sheep dip’ with marines

England’s No2 Steve Holland explains how a character-building exercise with the Royal Marines was designed to help prevent another ‘Iceland’ moment

Almost a week on and England’s players are still piecing together the eccentricity of an end-of-season overnight stay on Woodbury Common mucking in with the Royal Marines. Harry Kane thrilled at the novelty of “putting up my own tent and sleeping in a sleeping bag”. Kieran Trippier, who can hardly have anticipated enduring the “sheep dip” or a four-mile early morning hike with 21kg on his back through a Devonian wilderness on his first call-up, admitted an initial sense of shock gave way to enjoyment. All spoke of admiration for their hosts and praised Gareth Southgate for thinking outside the box when it came to team bonding.

Related: Tactical manoeuvre: the England squad train with the Royal Marines – in pictures

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