Six Nations 2014: Cheeky Warren Gatland plays mind games with Stuart Lancaster's 'boys'

The Wales coach believes a win at Twickenham would put doubts in England minds

It would not be England versus Wales without a barbed comment from Warren Gatland, who came as close as possible to beckoning Sunday's hosts with a "come-and-have-a-go" challenge.

The mischievous New Zealander has previously singled out Paul Sackey and Dylan Hartley with his mind games before encounters.

This time it was any Englishman who was part of the capitulation in Cardiff 12 months ago with the threat that Wales will test just how much Stuart Lancaster's side have "grown" from that 30-3 hammering.

"England say they have learned harsh lessons from last year and all the talk is that these boys have turned into men. I guess time will tell on Sunday," said Gatland.

Last year, British Lions places were also on the line, as well as a Grand Slam. This weekend, the Wales coach believes, will see the victors land a telling blow before the mother of all derbies, in the 2015 World Cup.

"It's a big game psychologically for both teams. It's the last time we go to Twickenham before next year, which will be an even bigger game than Sunday," said Gatland. "If we win this week, then it's four in a row against England and that will have an effect. A few doubts will creep in for them.

"It's a long way off and both teams will be far stronger then, but the fact that we have had success there helps. In terms of age profile and total number of caps, which could be around 1,000, our team will be coming into their peak. That's something for us to get excited about."

There was even a shot from Gatland at the bookmakers, who make England favourites against the reigning Six Nations champions on Sunday, despite recent history.

"I'm not sure who has won the last three games between us… I think it was us," he said.

"In the past, going to Twickenham was a step too far for Wales players and before this group it was 20 years that Wales hadn't won there. But as Adam Jones said, we have no fear."

Rhys Webb retains the No 9 jersey ahead of Mike Phillips though Jonathan Davies and Alun Wyn Jones return to take Wales' tally of Lions to a dozen. England are likely to include just two.

Asked whether more Englishman would make his selection on current form, Gatland quipped: "There would be more Irish now."

He added: "England are improving and have dangerous runners like Mike Brown, who has probably been the player of the tournament so far. But they're missing key players like Dan Cole, Alex Corbisiero and Geoff Parling, and also Manu Tuilagi, if he doesn't start. When those guys are back, they will be very strong."

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn