Six Nations 2013: Wales have secured title shot 'the hard way' says Ian Evans

The defending champions host England on Saturday

Ian Evans believes Wales have “done it the hard way” in terms of keeping alive their RBS 6 Nations title hopes this season.

The defending champions will head into next Saturday's Millennium Stadium showdown against England after recovering brilliantly from an opening weekend home loss to Ireland.

A seven-point victory would be enough for Wales to secure silverware, provided they keep their overall tournament try count higher than England's - Wales currently lead that contest 7-5.

And it all represents a remarkable turnaround, given that Wales trailed Ireland 30-3 at one stage five weeks ago. But since then, they have recorded three successive away wins and not conceded a try.

"I think we've done it the hard way," Wales lock Evans said.

"I just hope our first game doesn't come back and bite us on the backside, really.

"We've rescued the situation, got control back and it leads up to the last game now in the Millennium Stadium.

"We've rolled our sleeves up, and it has all been about coming away with the wins. It is not about how pretty it looks, it has been about being dominant and getting the win.

"I think in the first game against Ireland we let ourselves down in the first half. We should have won that game, from my point of view. It was too late to catch up in the second half.

"But we've had three massive wins since then. When people start writing you off, Welsh players tend to stand up and be counted, from what I can see."

Wales did not escape injury-free from their 28-18 win against Scotland at Murrayfield, with skipper Ryan Jones suffering a shoulder problem that forced him off during the second half.

He arrived back at Cardiff Wales Airport yesterday with his right arm in a sling and together with prop Gethin Jenkins, who missed the Scotland game due to a calf muscle injury suffered in Rome last month, will be assessed by Wales' medical staff.

If the Ospreys talisman is forced out, though, Wales have a ready-made leader in Sam Warburton, last season's Grand Slam captain who delivered his best performance of the season against Scotland.

"Ryan has taken a contact to the shoulder and he will be assessed. We will take judgment from there," Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley said.

Howley and his opposite number Stuart Lancaster are due to announce their starting XVs next Thursday, highlighting an intense build-up towards an annual fixture always accompanied by feverish hype, even if there is little resting on the outcome.

"It is what everyone wanted," Evans said.

"It's the golden ticket for those people who will be there next Saturday. It's like the Willy Wonka bar."

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'