England Rugby Squad in Algarve

With a qualifying tie against Russia on the horizon, preparations for the 2011 New Zealand Rugby World Cup began for Portugal’s national team last week.

Numerous injuries prevented the ‘Lobos’ from fielding a full strength side during their opening 24-18 win over visiting Oxford University in Lisbon, but needed to be at their best for subsequent encounters with England behind closed doors at Browns and a British Universities XV during a two-day stay in the Algarve.

Martin Johnson’s men, who were in the Algarve for a week until today (Friday),  will also have appreciated the chance of some warm weather training with the start of the Six Nations tournament barely a week away.