Six Nations: Wales v England match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s Six Nations fixture at the Millennium Stadium

England will be hoping that last week’s stuttering
performance against a spirited Italian side has banished any danger of
complacency this weekend as they go in search of an elusive Grand Slam.

Wales will need Leigh Halfpenny, the top points scorer so far in the 2013 Six Nations, to be on top form and his head-to-head kicking battle with England’s Owen Farrell looks like being an interesting one.

Wales may feel they have an edge in the front row, where they certainly have more experience, and they will surely try to make that tell in order to put the pressure on England.

Both side’s back rows are formidable with all the players looking to be in contention for this summer’s Lions tour.

In fact the two sides are fairly evenly matched all over the park so it will be fascinating to see whether the experience of Wales or the youthful confidence of England will emerge victorious.

 

LINE-UPS...

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins (c), Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Scott Andrews, Andrew Coombs, Aaron Shingler, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams

 

England - Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown; Owen Farrell,  Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Chris Robshaw (c), Tom Wood.

Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Dave Wilson, Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes, James Haskell, Danny Care, Toby Flood, Billy Twelvetrees

 

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5pm

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS...

England 12-19 Wales, February 2012

Wales 19-26 England, February 2011

England 30-17 Wales, February 2010

 

STATS...

Wales have not won at the Millennium Stadium in their last 5 attempts, but have won 8 of their last 9 Six Nations Matches.

England are going for their first Grand Slam in a decade but are now 5 games unbeaten and have won their last 5 away matches in the Six Nations.

Out of the last 10 Six Nations matches between the 2 sides, both teams have won 5 matches each, but Wales have won 4 out the last 6

 

PLAYER TO WATCH...

Wales: Sam Warburton – Freed from the responsibility of captaincy this Saturday, Warburton – man of the match in Wales’ last outing at Murrayfield – will be free to focus on his own game. His back row battle with England skipper Chris Robshaw will be fascinating with both players hoping to establish themselves as first choice for this summer’s Lions tour.

England: Manu Tuilagi – The young centre was monstrous against France, despite almost having his ear ripped off in the first minute, and England fans will be hoping he can repeat that performance. His match up with Jamie Roberts in the Welsh midfield looks set to be a bruising encounter and given the Welshman’s relatively quiet tournament so far, Tuilagi will have high hopes of coming out on top.

 

CLASSIC MATCH...

Sunday, April 11, 1999 - Wales 32-31 England

In the last ever Five Nations Championship, England were denied the title by Wales in the very last minute of the game. Scott Gibbs side-stepped five England players to score a fantastic solo try before Neil Jenkins added the winning conversion. The last Five Nations trophy went to Scotland.

 

TV: Live on BBC One, 3pm

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits