Why England should be worried
SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has said “there is more in us” ahead of a crunch Six Nations clash against England in Cardiff.
Saturday’s match at the Principality Stadium between the only two unbeaten teams left in this season’s Championship is shaping up as a title-decider.
England, however, will cross the border top of the table after gaining a maximum 10 points in dominant victories over both Ireland, the reigning champions, and France.
Wales, by contrast, had to come from 0-16 down at half-time before defeating France 24-19 in Paris and were then solid, if unspectacular, in seeing off strugglers Italy.
Nevertheless, Wales have now won 11 Tests in a row, equalling an all-time national record set way back from 1907-10.
Story continues below:
“As a squad, we are very real about our performances of late,” veteran lock Jones, who will make a record 18th appearance for a player from any country against England, told reporters at the Principality on Friday.
“To get the W (win) is the most important thing, and people sometimes forget how you win. It’s all about the W, particularly at this level,” the British and Irish Lions second row added.
“There is more in us, and hopefully we can do that tomorrow.”
Reflecting on playing England, Jones said: “It’s always historic. The players on both sides know what they want to achieve and what this game means for the Championship.
“It can affect the Championship, and everyone knows that.
“Am I going to build it up? No, I will let you [the media] build it up.
“There is a danger we can get overly emotive and swept away and be tired coming into the game tomorrow, so there is that element of feet on the ground and job of work to prepare ourselves for tomorrow.”
Jones insisted: “We are very real about our performances.
“We are our own harshest critics in the fact we have left a few [points] out there.
“I think we had four disallowed tries in the first two games. That’s 28 points, which is a big difference, and we are well aware of that.”
Wales have not beaten England in the Six Nations since a record 30-3 win in Cardiff six years ago that ended their arch-rivals’ Grand Slam hopes
Turning to England’s recent form, Wales coach Warren Gatland said: “They have done pretty well in their opening two games. I thought tactically they were very good against Ireland.
“They kicked a lot and got a lot of success out of that.”
The New Zealander, in his last Six Nations as Wales coach before standing down after this year’s World Cup in Japan, added: “I don’t think anyone knows where we are yet, except for ourselves, which is a nice place to be.
“They will try to take us on at set-pieces, use big runners and look to play a territory game and kick a lot.
“We just have to cope with that and stay in the arm-wrestle. They have scored early, so it is important they don’t get off to a quick start.”