Six Nations 2014: England v Wales - Jonathan Davies prepared for 'hostile' Twickenham reception ahead of return from injury
Davies will make his first appearance for Wales since tearing a pectoral muscle last year
Thursday 06 March 2014
Wales star Jonathan Davies is ready to embrace a “hostile” Twickenham environment when he makes his Test match return on Sunday.
Davies has not featured for Wales since he suffered a torn pectoral muscle playing against South Africa four months ago.
But a 65-minute run for the Scarlets in their RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Munster four days ago confirmed his readiness to resume an established Wales midfield partnership with Jamie Roberts this weekend.
And the stakes could not be much higher, with reigning RBS 6 Nations champions Wales facing a resurgent England knowing that their hopes of achieving an unprecedented title hat-trick will effectively disappear if they do not win.
"I think there is going to be a hostile environment, but we have been to big places before and played in front of a crowd like that," Davies said.
"You have just got to embrace it. Playing in front of a big crowd like that will be amazing, and it will be even better if we get a victory.
"I think the Twickenham factor has always been a huge thing for them, so it's fair enough for them to be favourites and stuff, but we don't really look into that.
"We just have to make sure we prepare well, we need to know the game-plan for what we want to achieve and when we go out there we have to execute it, so we don't really look at who's favourite.
"We are reliant on other teams doing us a favour (in terms of the title), but we just need to concentrate on our own performances and make sure we put enough pressure on the rest of the teams. Hopefully, they will slip up, and we are there to slip in the back door."
It is been a long road back to Wales colours for the 25-year-old, whose high-class British and Irish Lions performances in Australia last summer enhanced an already burgeoning reputation.
And despite his lack of consistent match action during the last few months, Davies' return has come at a key time for Wales in terms of their 2014 Six Nations campaign.
"I have had a few months off, so I feel pretty fresh at the moment," he said.
"It (injury) was frustrating, but it's part and parcel of the game. The best way to handle it, for me personally, was just to think that's how it is and concentrate on getting back fit.
"It (pressure) is always there when you play for your country. Whenever you put that red jersey on there is always pressure to deliver a performance and a victory. It's the same case for Sunday.
"For me personally, you want to test yourself at the highest level and be involved in big game atmospheres playing in front of big crowds, and it is going to be like that on Sunday.
"You have got to get excited about it and make sure you do everything you can to put yourself in the position for victory.
"I thought the (Wales) performance against France was fantastic. There was a real edge and a physicality in the contact area and we were able to have quick ball.
"We know on Sunday that we will have to step it up again. These games are always heated, a fierce contest, so there is another level to take it up.
"I thought they (England) played really well against Ireland. Ireland were on a good run and at Twickenham they shut the door on them and closed the game out.
"They were probably unlucky against France, so they are a good team. They've matured the last couple of years and we are expecting a tough test."
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