49ers preparing for stout Jaguars defense
Patrick Willis is not overly fond of the soggy condition of the 49ers makeshift practice field in the English countryside. (AP IMAGES)
Editor’s note: Read Insider Matt Maiocco’s reports from the UK all week long as the 49ers gear up for their Week 8 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London
HERTFORDSHIRE, England – The 49ers have remained mostly dry during their visit to the United Kingdom this week.
And while their practice field at The Grove luxury resort and spa in the English countryside appears to be in better shape than it was during their visit three years ago, it’s still a bit too saturated for their preference.
The 49ers have been showered with hospitality during their stay, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was quick to point out. But the team’s practice field is something Willis is not going to miss -- likely due to the many showers the sod has endured.
"That field, I wouldn't say I'm very fond of it," Willis said. "Soggy and slippery and everything that a guy that's trying to get over a groin (injury) doesn't need."
Willis missed two games with a groin strain he sustained Sept. 22 against the Indianapolis Colts. He is still nursing the condition despite playing the past two games.
When a British journalist asked 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio what kind of playing surface he prefers, Fangio answered, “Well, compared to the practice field here, it’d be the artificial. But I always like the grass fields more, better.”
The 49ers held their final practice at The Grove on Thursday. The team will practice Friday at Allianz Park, outside of London, which is the home of rugby team Saracens.
Following practice, the 49ers will move to a London hotel, where they will remain leading up to Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.