England have been forced to adjust preparations for the final phase of their Six Nations campaign in anticipation of the arctic conditions due over the coming days.
The freezing weather sweeping in from Russia – dubbed the ‘The Beast from the East’ – has forced head coach Eddie Jones to modify the schedule for the second fallow week less than 24 hours after a comprehensive 25-13 defeat by Scotland.
Of the 27 players set to be named in an extended squad on Monday night, only 19 will gather in Oxford as originally intended and they will be released on Thursday.
The other eight players are to take part in four regional camps at Bagshot, Saracens, Leicester and Wasps, with reconditioning rather than rugby the emphasis for all training programmes.
Once the weather has passed, 25 players will be summoned to London on Saturday to begin the build-up for the clash with France in Paris on March 10.
England have been replaced by Ireland as Six Nations favourites with two rounds remaining following the Calcutta Cup loss at Murrayfield.
After the game Jones said England lacked intensity in what was only their second defeat since he took over.