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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence