England squad put through Royal Marines boot camp ahead of World Cup qualifier against Scotland

Ahead of their matches against Scotland and France later this month, the England football team went on a top-secret trip to the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre, it has now been revealed.

While the Three Lions’ preparations for the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Scotland on 10 June and the friendly against France on 14 June were to officially commence from Tuesday, most members of the squad reported to St George’s Park on Friday. They were then taken to Devon for the next two days, where they took part in various activities the Royal Marines usually participate in, such as night camping on Woodbury Common, according to a report on the Football Association website. Images shared by the Football Association on their website and on Twitter show footballers like Jermain Defoe and Raheem Sterling being “sheep dipped” into water.

England manager Gareth Southgate said the purpose of the drill was to “dislocated expectations”.

“We wanted to come and put the guys into a different environment, something they weren't expecting,” Southgate explained. “The Marines talk about a dislocated expectation, and that was part of the theme of the camp — how will we be adaptable in moments of difficulty for us as a team?”

“There were some team objectives around pushing themselves beyond where they thought they could go and knowing you don't want to let any of your teammates down. We wanted to expose the guys to an elite environment with one of the elite forces in the world. We wanted them to see that there's another world out there.”

England are currently on top of Group F, having won four of their five matches to garner 13 points while Scotland are fourth in the table with seven points.

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Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 17:34:36 IST