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Fitness & Health

16th Aug 2019

England centre Henry Slade on the changes he made to his diet and training

Alex Roberts

Eddie Jones has named his squad for the Rugby World Cup

Included in the England line-up is one of the Gallagher Premiership’s star players, Exeter Chiefs centre Henry Slade.

JOE recently chatted to Slade on all things training, diet and motivation.

Can you give us some specific training drills that only a centre would do?

“As a centre, a big part of the game is the kick chase and winning the kick battles, so in getting up to the opposition and shutting off their run back.

“I do a lot of shuttle style speed and repeat training – so sprinting 50 metres, then run back for ten metres, then sprint forward 40 metres and run back 10 metres and so on. It’s really helpful in winning territory up and down the pitch.”

What changes have you had made to your workout regime over the past 12 months?

“The England camp asked me to improve my speed, so shuttle runs and sprint training have been a big focus.

“But this also includes a lot of strength work in the gym with a focus on power superset. A session could include a main lift of a Bulgarian split squat or a front squat that I’ll superset with a box jump or with a banded lateral bound to make it as explosive as possible.”

What player did you look up to when you were starting out?

“I used to play fly half when I first started out, so watched Dan Carter and Jonny Wilkinson a lot. First started playing around the time England won the World Cup, so I was out there practising Jonny’s winning drop goal in the garden.

“I also played football growing up, so spent a lot of time watching David Beckham.”

Slade and England take on Wales in Cardiff on August 17th, followed by Ireland a week later at Twickenham

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?

“It was actually from my grandad. When I was 15, he came to watch me play two games in a row.

“I used to take the kick offs, and in both games my kicks didn’t go ten metres. He’s a farmer and has a thick West Country accent, so he came up to me and said ‘ere boy, don’t kick short.’ Even now, every time I see him before a game, he’ll tell me ‘don’t kick short’.”

What do you eat for performance and recovery on game day?

“In the morning before a game, I’ll have a breakfast of bacon, eggs, beans and toast.

“Then a few hours ahead of kick off, I’ll have something that the team chefs make which will normally be a pasta dish like Spaghetti Bolognese.

“Then after the game, I’ll have an Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey protein shake, then the food will be slightly more relaxed so we might have a lasagne or something similar to help recover.”

Henry Slade is an Optimum Nutrition athlete