Bertrand absent from England training


CHANTILLY: Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand was the only absentee as England staged an open training session in front of local schoolchildren at their Chantilly training base north of Paris on Tuesday.

Bertrand, 26, missed England’s 1-0 win over Portugal last week with a knock and is now doubtful for their Euro 2016 opener against Russia in Marseille on Saturday.

While the rest of the squad were put through their paces, Bertrand worked with a fitness coach on an adjacent pitch. It leaves Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose likely to start at left-back against Russia.

Addressing the crowd of around 400 people watching the session, England manager Roy Hodgson said, in French: “We’re very happy to be here in Chantilly and we thank you for what you’ve done.”

Calling Chantilly a “beautiful town”, he added: “Thank you and enjoy the training.”

The rest of the 22-man squad, including Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, who is reported to be considering an offer from Arsenal, trained on a hot, sunny morning at the Stade des Bourgognes, home of local side US Chantilly.

After a warm-up, there was a volleyed passing exercise in which goalkeeper Joe Hart experienced some difficulties, to the amusement of his team-mates.

Prior to the session, Chantilly mayor Eric Woerth welcomed England to their training base and a group of local children, draped in St George’s flags, sang ‘God Save the Queen’.

“I want to welcome the England team on behalf of the municipality of Chantilly,” said Woerth, who was a minister in the government of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“It’s your ground, your playground, and I hope the tournament will be good.

“We’re proud you’ve chosen Chantilly and we’ll follow you throughout the tournament. Vive the Three Lions!”

Asked how far England could go at the tournament, which begins on Friday, right-back Kyle Walker told reporters: “I’d like to think all the way. We wouldn’t be here if not.

“It’s an exciting young squad. Hopefully we can do the business on the pitch and make the country proud.

“It’s excitement and work ethic. You’ve got Dele Alli, you’ve got experience with (Wayne) Rooney; (Harry) Kane is always going to get you goals; (Jamie) Vardy has had a fantastic season.

“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing on the field, keep listening to the gaffer (manager) and what he wants to do.”

England will continue to train in Chantilly before travelling to Marseille on Friday.