Beppu - England defence coach John Mitchell insisted there's nothing sinister about welcoming Australian rugby league great Ricky Stuart into their camp during a week culminating with a Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the Wallabies.

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Since Stuart's fellow Australian Eddie Jones took over as England head coach the squad have often invited leading players and coaches to join them at training, including legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

Wallabies boss Michael Cheika, who knows Stuart and played with Jones at Sydney club Randwick, said the timing of the Canberra Raiders coach's arrival into the England camp was "weird".

But Mitchell said the visit was planned long in advance, and was not aimed at winding up Cheika, although Jones - in charge of the Wallabies when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England - may not mind if that's the effect.

"We didn't know who we were going to have in our quarter-final and this had been planned for a while and we have people come in all the time," Mitchell said ahead of Saturday's last-eight clash in Oita.

"You can dress it up any way you want to but if you look at it from a realistic point of view, the planning for him coming was done a long time ago," he added.

"Australia didn't know they would have England in the quarter-final and England didn't know either. That's the way I see it."

Asked about bringing in leading figures from other sports, a list that includes soccer stars Roy Keane and Craig Bellamy, former All Blacks coach Mitchell said: "It's actually a really good way of growing our players so that they are asking the right questions and also creates an informality where everyone can learn.

"A lot of players in this squad enjoy rugby league," explained Mitchell, with England captain Owen Farrell the son of former dual code international Andy Farrell, while fly-half George Ford's father Mike also played league.

"One of the great things I believe Eddie does in our environment is very much a learning environment.

"They (the Raiders) have just recently played in one of the major rugby league competitions in the world (NRL grand final), you'd be stupid if you weren't able to gain something from that."