EDDIE JONES says England will be motivated by revenge against reigning champions Wales as they look to secure the Triple Crown at Twickenham tomorrow.
Last year’s defeat in Cardiff, when England built up a 10-3 lead in Cardiff only to crumble to a 21-13 defeat, still rankles with Jones.
The head coach has made two changes, naming Anthony Watson (pictured) on the right wing ahead of Jonathan Joseph and picking Mark Wilson at openside to cover for Sam Underhill’s head injury.
And Jones is determined not to allow the cancellation of the final Six Nations game in Italy, due to the coronavirus outbreak, cloud England’s preparations as they prepare to face Wayne Pivac’s side.
‘Everyone’s focused on Wales,’ Jones said. ‘We’ve probably had our best training run of the Six Nations. We’re not far underneath where we were at the World Cup in terms of physical condition and the intensity we can potentially play with.
‘You’ve got to remember they beat us last year so we owe them one. You never like to lose to Wales — and we lost last year. We were in the position we were in at half-time and we’ve learned from that.That was one of the key games that got us in our best condition for the World Cup. It’s still a game I’m sure irks every player who played in it. It certainly irks me. They’ve lost two games in a row. They’ll want to make a statement on Saturday.’
Watson and Wilson will be making their first England appearances since the World Cup final.
Watson was due to start the Six Nations opener against France but withdrew with a calf problem.
Despite making just one start for Sale since, Wilson is preferred to Lewis Ludlam, who has also missed out on a place on the bench.
They said it…
‘When we were in Japan there was the typhoon — there are bigger things that are more critical than us playing in a rugby game’ — England’s George Ford reflects on the postponed game with Italy
E Daly; A Watson, M Tuilagi, O Farrell (capt), J May; G Ford, B Youngs; J Marler, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, G Kruis, C Lawes, M Wilson (Sale), T Curry.
Replacements: L Cowan-Dickie, E Genge, W Stuart, J Launchbury, C Ewels, B Earl, W Heinz, H Slade.