Proudfoot wants England to 'bully' Wales
INTERVIEW: England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot has warned his side to brace themselves for a bruising battle up front as he looks to improve his own record against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Reigning Six Nations champions England know a second defeat of the tournament will all but end their hopes of a successful title defence, following a shock opening loss at home to Scotland.
France and Wales are the only teams left in this year’s edition who still have a chance of completing a Grand Slam, while a victory for the Welsh this weekend would see them to the Triple Crown following wins over Ireland and Scotland in the first two rounds.
Proudfoot, a member of South Africa’s backroom staff before joining Eddie Jones’ coaching team, is well aware of the difficulty facing England given his own poor record with the Springboks in Cardiff, for all the 2019 world champions beat Wales in a World Cup semifinal in Japan.
“What more do you say about Alun Wyn Jones? And Justin Tipuric is an exceptional rugby player,” Proudfoot said on Wednesday.
“We understand the challenge. I have coached for four years against Wales and never beaten them [in Wales], so I understand how tough they are up front.
“With South Africa, we went there four times and lost four times, so that’s something that sits in the back of my head.
“I know how well our pack has got to play and how intense they have got to be in the collision area to keep our foot in the competition against Wales.”
Both Jones and Wales counterpart Wayne Pivac are set to name their teams on Thursday.