WALES face the tough task of travelling to Twickenham to face an in-form England side.
It is extremely
unlikely that Wales will defend their Six Nations title after suffering back-to-back
defeats against Ireland and France.
coach Wayne Pivac warns that there will be an improved showing from the men in
Pivac said: “The level of intensity has
noticeably gone up in training, certainly in the live stuff and it has been no
“No one has
been holding back. That tells me a big performance is coming.”
Experienced outside-back Liam Williams and back-rower Josh Navidi have been picked to start against England after their recovery from injury.
will take his place on the left wing following Josh Adam’s tournament-ending
Taulupe Faletau, a favourite of previous coach Warren Gatland, will have to make do with a place on the bench as Navidi replaces him at No 8.
that Faletau had picked up “a bump” while on club duty for Bath and has not
elected to make wholesale change at scrum-half, dropping Gareth Davies and
starting Tomos Williams. Rhys Webb will provide cover from the bench.
“We think that Gareth had a go last week. Tomos had been playing well up to
that point and we think he edges it at the moment.
brings a lot of experience and a lot of good communication as well as game
Dan Biggar is
fit to start at fly-half after an injury scare.
suffered a knee injury while playing for club side Northampton Saints and the
Welsh management left it late to confirm whether he would play a part on
got the injury, if it was a Test match, who knows he may have played on,” said Pivac.
“At the end
of the day, he’s come off, he’s been treated and the medical team have done a
great job with him.”
will get his chance to force his way back into Pivac’s plans at loosehead prop
after an injury to Wyn Jones.
Evans was a
surprise omission from Wales’ World Cup squad and has found it difficult to return
to prominence due to the form of Jones.
George North has overcome the concussion he received against France and Johnny McNicholl is named on the bench.
This means that teenage sensation Louis Rees-Zammit must wait for his first cap. after not being named in the squad.
Tompkins gets a chance to play against his country of birth as he continues his
run in the 13 shirt for Wales.
Reportedly rejected by England for being too small to play international rugby at centre, Tompkins will be keen to show what he can do against destructive ball-carrier Manu Tuilagi.
have made two changes to the starting XV that dominated Ireland.
starts at openside flanker, while Anthony Watson makes his return after
recovering from a calf injury.
in the back row has been enforced by an injury to former Ospreys player Sam
Ireland, England’s bench is split with six forwards and only two backs,
suggesting that head coach Eddie Jones has set his team up to impose themselves
physically throughout 80 minutes.
How does this #GuinnessSixNations table look to you? pic.twitter.com/JEjHXUQVit— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 23, 2020
How does this #GuinnessSixNations table look to you? pic.twitter.com/JEjHXUQVit
England have suffered defeat to championship favourites France.
England’s comprehensive victory over Ireland at Twickenham has Welsh fans
worried that the men in red will suffer their third tournament defeat in a row.
haven’t lost this many consecutively since 2007 – before Warren Gatland took
over as head coach.
captain Alun Wyn Jones admitted that the pressure is on but advised the public
to be patient with Pivac.
“It is uncharted territory for us after two defeats, but I do not think you can
compare this season with the 12 Warren had.
“We can be
reactionary and throw the baby out with the bathwater or we can step back and
reflect that there is change.”
are favourites, Eddie Jones is wary of a Welsh resurgence.
a very tough, well-coached side and they’ve been building on their attack since
Wayne Pivac has taken over,” he said.
“They beat us last year, so we owe them one.”
The game kicks off at 4.45pm on Saturday, March 7. It will be aired on ITV with coverage starting from 3.50pm.
Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell (c), May;
Ford, Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Kruis; Lawes, Wilson, Curry
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Stuart, Launchbury, Ewels, Earl, Heinz, Slade
Wales: Halfpenny; North, Tompkins, Parkes, L Williams; Biggar, T
Williams; R Evans, Owens, Lewis; Ball, AW Jones (c); Moriarty, Navidi, Tipuric
Replacements: Elias, Carre, Brown, Shingler, Faletau, Webb, J Evans, McNicholl