England Squad Joins Royal Marines For 'Elite' Training

England manager Gareth Southgate prepared his team for this month's game against Scotland with a top-secret trip to the Royal Marines’...

England manager Gareth Southgate prepared his team for this month's game against Scotland with a top-secret trip to the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre.

The 20-strong squad spent the weekend in Devon in army fatigues, completing a series of exercises designed for marine recruits.

These included a night camping under the stars on Woodbury Common, a four-mile hike with 21 kilos on their backs and underwater exercises.

In the cover picture, the Three Lions boss is seen being helped out of what looks to be a water hazard of an obstacle course.

England footballer Raheem Sterling was seen preparing sleeping bags in the darkness.

Southgate told The FA: 

"These guys represent Queen and country, and we do the same - but the consequences of failure for the Royal Marines are far higher. That gives us a good context and comparison"

"We wanted to come and put the guys into a different environment, something they weren't expecting.

"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?

"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."

Colonel Mike Tanner, commandant of the commando training centre, was pleased with what he saw from England and hopes to work with them again in the future.

"It has been a real pleasure," he said. "They threw themselves into every challenge with enthusiasm and good humour.

"The Royal Marines and England football team have much in common and the opportunity to share experience was valuable for us all."

England footballer Jake Livermore is pictured applying camouflage paint.

The players will reconvene on Tuesday at St George's Park, joined by Gary Cahill, Eric Dier, Chris Smalling, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford - who missed the excursion - to prepare for the forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Scotland in more familiar surroundings.