England warned to expect hateful 'welcome' in Cardiff

Elena Summers
February 24, 2019

England will miss the services of Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton in the upcoming Six Nations clash against Wales at Principality Stadium following a calf strain.

Wales had a hand on the Six Nations rugby trophy as the only undefeated team after overcoming England 21-13.

"They are training with us, so hopefully they will be fit enough for selection", said Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde.

On Thursday, when naming his team, Jones pulled the pin by claiming Gatland's men, who the England coach has labelled the "greatest Wales team ever", would be ready to "rip players' heads off", while calling on his own boys to "knock out" today's opponents.

England enjoyed playing against makeshift full backs in Robbie Henshaw and Yoann Huget.

Speaking to the BBC after the game, the Wales skipper played down the importance of the streak and the Welsh win, as they moved top of the table in the Guinness Six Nations. A bonus point win against tournament favourites Ireland in Dublin three weeks ago was a stunning statement of intent, and Eddie Jones' team followed it up by destroying hapless France 44-8 just over a week later.

With the help of Opta, we take a statistical look at the third round of matches.

"I know me and Martyn have been 7s in the past, but Tom Curry has been absolutely magnificent for England".

"We knew exactly where we were and I said to the players they (England) had no idea what animal was turning up this week but we did". On fine margins you make one mistake and it costs you a try and that ultimately cost us the game. "There's a good chance there'll be tractors and buses holding them up".


Wales has also won both of its games, against France and Italy, and is on an 11-match winning streak - tying the country's all-time record.

This time they're at Principality Stadium, which Wales assistant coach Rob Howley believed gave the home side a five-point start.

However, it was suggested on Monday he could recover in time for the title showdown in Cardiff despite not being named in England's 33-man training squad for the game.

"Am I going to build it up?"

Gatland called England prop Kyle Sinckler an emotional "timebomb" during the build-up, and the Harlequins forward conceded two penalties, that Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe kicked, before being substituted.

Jones insisted: "We are very real about our performances".

Owen Farrell kicked England into a 17th-minute lead when Wales conceded a scrum penalty, yet the home side continued to look more unsafe with ball in hand.

"When I won Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008 I think we were a very good team but we weren't a ideal squad". We just felt that he needed a little bit more contact, so that is what he is going to have.

"However you get that and achieve your wins, you want to keep your momentum, and that's what we want to do".

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