Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

Wales unchanged for the big 6 Nations clash

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England v Wales 2016 England v Wales 2016

What do you do to the team that has just won a game? Simple, do not change! And that is exactly what head coach Warren Gatland has done as he named an unchanged Wales starting XV for the game against England on Saturday.

 

Gatland’s side defeated France in the last round and if they can overcome the Red Rose at Twickenham they can move to the top of the RBS 6 Nations Championship table. But of course the squad is not entirely without change as Gatland recalled scrum-half Rhys Webb for the first time since September.

The 27-year-old was out of action for Wales following a foot injury and would be joining the bench along with Paul James and Luke Charteris. This means that Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin and Samson Lee will start in the front row for the fourth consecutive time in the Championships.

Webb’s return doesn’t change Gatland’s plans of starting Gareth Davies at No. 9 although he could be watching the bench over his shoulder. Davies, though, is coming off a man-of-the-match display against France and should be pretty confident of his game at the moment.

Dan Biggar will have a strong role to play too alongside Davies and Gatland has no doubt about his team’s chances.

"We are happy with the blend of our side. We have a very experienced back five in the pack, blended with the youth up from and that balance is really pleasing," "There is a huge amount to play for on Saturday and it will go a long way to deciding the RBS 6 Nations.” Gatland added.

But England will not be an easy opponent especially after the recent Rugby World Cup loss to this very team. Though the combinations changed in the Red Rose camp starting with the coach at the helm, many in the squad are still smarting from that loss to Wales.

Wales fought back on this very ground for a 28-25 victory which helped them progress from the group at the expense of England. And the Red Rose centre Jonathan Joseph, who watched that game on the sidelines, revealed how difficult it was on that fateful day.

"It was tough one. The last ten minutes was horrible to watch and at the time I remember just thinking about trying to be fit for the week later. I can't remember the game too well, it wasn't a great time for any of us” Joseph said. As the two remaining unbeaten sides square-off, this is one match that could go a long way in deciding the course of this year’s Championship. Will Wales inflict more pain and misery for the hosts or will England be able to gain quick revenge?

 

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