Believe it or not, it's quite an emasculating experience spending a day with the entire England rugby team. Not only do the lot of them look as if they've been fist-fed growth hormones they're so unfeasibly huge, they're also some of the politest chaps we've ever met. A combination which - in the mind of this weedy, yawning, twig-limbed journo at least - induced the desire to make them our friends, our best friends, best friends like we haven't had since those first few weeks of primary school.
The real reason we made the journey over to Pennyhill Park Hotel - the team's Surrey-based training ground - however, was not to make friends with the England squad, but for the fitting of the team's brand-new, made-to-measure suits from French outfitter Eden Park.
The suit itself (a single-breasted, slim-fit grey number) cut a surprisingly elegant figure on the generally bulky players. Accompanied by a skinny red tie, white shirt, wool-cashmere blend black overcoat (complete with some on-trend lapel piping) and some very shiny, very pointy black shoes, the combination, on the whole, works well. Though we're still in two minds about the tweed baker boy hat.
The real winner, however, is the fact that Eden Park's offering is free from the giant red roses found splattered willy-nilly over previous suits. Bar a few rugby ball-shaped buttons and a couple of miniature roses here and there, the team had little to complain about - in fact there was no complaining at all, our previous emasculation was somewhat negated by the team's eagerness to jump out of their sweats and into their suits.
Following the fitting, a few of the squad's more vocal members took time-out to discuss style with us, we think you'll be surprised by the level of insight, we're ashamed to say - we were.
Words by Teo van den Broeke