Alex King thinks that Wales should adopt a fearless mindset as they prepare to take on England at Twickenham this Saturday. It has been 12 years since Wales emerged victorious against their fierce rivals in a Six Nations match on English territory. Despite losing seven times in a row at the English rugby headquarters since their win during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Wales has been relatively close in five of those defeats, losing by only six points or less.
Wales will travel to London following a tough loss in an exciting match against Scotland in Cardiff. Despite being down 27-0, they fought back with 26 points and nearly achieved the greatest comeback in Six Nations history. On the other hand, England faced a tough challenge from Italy in Rome and managed to secure a 27-24 victory after being behind at halftime and outscored in tries.
The Wales assistant coach and former Wasps fly-half King stated that England has a strong team, as proven by their third place finish at the World Cup. He believes that in order to be successful, Wales must adopt a fearless approach and put pressure on England. They cannot wait for England to make a move, especially with the support of 70,000 fans. Instead, Wales must take control of the game and not wait for England to dictate the pace.
“It is crucial to demonstrate to the players that England is a strong team, but they are not invincible. This is the truth. While they have talented players and good coaching, Twickenham is simply another stadium. I am eagerly anticipating returning there, with my Welsh pride in tow. England won significant matches in the World Cup and put up a fight against South Africa. They were able to secure close victories in some games. As with any team, they have their vulnerabilities. Our responsibility on Saturday is to capitalize on them.”
The coach of Wales, Warren Gatland, will need to make a substitution for the upcoming match due to an injury to flanker James Botham. Botham, the grandson of famous English cricket player Ian Botham and scorer of Wales’s first try against Scotland, will recover with his team Cardiff. To fill the gap, Cardiff teammate Seb Davies has been brought in and experienced Harlequins prop Dillon Lewis has also been added to the squad.
Reworded: During the Scotland match, the fly-half Sam Costelow was substituted before half-time. King stated, “He is currently undergoing evaluation for a neurological issue with his neck. The good news is that it is not a concussion. He is still eligible for selection, but it depends on whether he passes his medical procedures.”
The No 10 position may be given to former Bristol back Ioan Lloyd, who replaced Costelow and had a strong performance against Scotland. He is likely the top choice for the position.
Scotland has faced additional injury troubles as both Luke Crosbie and Richie Gray have been sidelined for the rest of the Six Nations. Crosbie, a member of the Edinburgh back-row, left the game in the second half due to a shoulder injury during their 27-26 win against Cardiff on Saturday. Meanwhile, Gray, a second-row player for Glasgow, had to be taken out in the first half due to a biceps injury.
On Tuesday morning, Scotland announced that the injuries of the two players who started in Cardiff have been evaluated and they will not be able to play for the rest of the tournament. Prior to their first match last weekend, Scotland was already missing some important players. Co-captain Rory Darge was not included in the lineup due to a knee injury he sustained in December. Additionally, Blair Kinghorn from Toulouse and Darcy Graham from Edinburgh were also not able to play in the first two matches due to knee and quad injuries.
The Scottish team is optimistic that Darge will recover in time for the upcoming match against France at Murrayfield on Saturday. This would help to balance out the absence of Crosbie in the back row. Additionally, Edinburgh’s lock Grant Gilchrist, who was previously suspended, is now able to replace Gray in the team.