Italy v England
Cryo chamber brought in to help England sleep
ESPN Staff
March 13, 2014
England Jack Nowell in action during the brutal encounter with Wales on Sunday © Getty Images

England are using a mobile cryotherapy unit to help them get some much-needed sleep before Saturday's final Six Nations clash with Italy.

After pulling off a bruising 29-18 victory over Wales on Sunday, England are on the backfoot when it comes to preparation for the Italy match. They have a day less to recover than their title rivals Ireland and France, both of whom played last Saturday.

Having previously shunned the temperature-lowering treatment, England have brought in a temporary unit at their training base at Pennyhill Park in Surrey. The chamber subjects players to temperatures as low as -160C for three minutes at a time.

Players often struggle to sleep after matches, due to the high levels of adrenalin pumping through their bodies. The cryotherapy chamber stimulates the brain to release 'feel-good' endorphins, which are said to improve sleep quality and aid players' recovery.

Matt Parker, the RFU's head of athletic performance, told the Telegraph: "Cryotherapy is used as part of a more extensive recovery programme when appropriate. It has had limited use in the Six Nations. It's being considered as part of our World Cup preparation."

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