|Six Nations: Wales v England|
|Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday 23 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.|
England coach Eddie Jones says his team have to relish taking on an entire nation when they play Wales in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.
Both sides have won their first two matches in this year’s tournament and share a fierce rivalry stretching back 131 matches and 138 years.
“We have to enjoy that, that is part of Test rugby,” Jones told BBC Sport.
“You feel the might of the country, because the whole country is behind them, not just the rugby people.”
England have won on their last two visits to the Principality Stadium, with 21-16 successes in 2017 and 2015.
On each occasion, they have had to overcome an intimidating environment, with England scrum-half Danny Care sharing stories of their team bus being head-butted and being sworn at on this weeks’ Rugby Union Weekly.
- Moon & Nowell to face Wales
- Wales pick Anscombe at fly-half ahead of Biggar
- Gatland laughs off ‘greatest team’ tag
- What beating England means to the Welsh
- Rugby Union Weekly: Headbutting buses and a baby rhino
- John Terry gives England team pep talk
- Hostile atmosphere awaits England in Cardiff
“We are going to enjoy the environment. How fantastic is it, the English going to Wales, 65,000 people there, all expecting Wales to win and us going there to play a brutal physical game, play smart rugby and come off victors?” asked Jones.
“They have been talking about how they have to stop players ripping other players’ heads off, how it is their biggest game ever, for us it is our most important game.
“We don’t have to worry about getting extra motivated, all we have to be is right for the game.”
Despite England being odds-on favourites to win the match, with the bookmakers predicting a winning margin of between four and seven points, Jones insists Wales are dealing with more expectation.
“They have won 11 games in a row so they can create a Welsh record there if they win,” he added.
“Warren Gatland – one of their most famous coaches – is coaching his last game against England so it is a great chance for us to go down there and spoil the party.
“You read the papers it has all been about Wales. We are happy for them to carry that expectation and how they handle the burden of it.”
‘The best ball-carrier in world rugby’
Jones’ only serious selection decision in the wake of victories over Ireland and France in the opening two rounds was at loose-head prop where he has opted to start Exeter’s Ben Moon ahead of Leicester’s Ellis Genge, with Mako Vunipola out injured.
However, Jones believes 24-year-old Genge, who has made only six appearances since making his debut in May 2016, can bring a powerful ball-carrying presence to England’s pack in years to come.
“Genge is a great attacker. No-one carries the ball in world rugby better than him, he is gong to be a great player for us,” he said.
“We wanted an industrious prop at the start of the game, a good defensive prop, which Ben is. It suits us to have Ben start and Genge off the bench.”
England have also chosen to have the Principality Stadium roof open for the match. Wales secured a famous 30-3 win with the roof closed in 2013, but were denied their wish to play every match indoors in the 2017 tournament.
The away team must agree if the roof is to be closed.
Share if you enjoyed this post!