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Friday, 07 May 2021 07:12 GMT

England and Wales braced for Six Nations showdown


(MENAFN - Kora) The two sides were among four teams tied on four points heading into the penultimate round of fixtures, with this year's chances of a grand slam having come to an end courtesy of Ireland's defeat at Twickenham last weekend



England have won the Six Nations title just once in the last 10 seasons, and will need to overturn a poor run of form against Warren Gatland's men to give themselves the best shot of doing so this year



Wales beat England 30-3 last year and have won the previous three meetings between the sides, with England failing to score a single try



However, this weekend's visitors have not won four games in a row against England since the late 1980s



Another milestone Wales will be aiming for is back-to-back victories at Twickenham for the first time since 1978, but there is nothing to choose between the sides historically, as they share a record of 56 wins apiece



Victory for England would see them lift the Triple Crown for the first time since 2003, and wing Jack Nowell stoked the flames in the build-up to the encounter by highlighting the "hate" he felt existed between the two nations



"We're playing against a team that hate you and want to beat you up or beat you in the game," he said



Yet Wales captain Sam Warburton - one of 12 British and Irish Lions in the Wales XV - has moved to play down that rivalry



"Both my parents were born in England so I can't think that way at all," he said. "I think people make a bigger thing out of it. All the lads went on the Lions tour and got on well with the English boys



"If someone asked me my nationality I'd say British. I don't look on it at all like that and I don't think the boys talk about England games like that.



Ben Morgan steps into the England number eight role in the absence of the injured Billy Vunipola, while flanker Tom Johnson takes Morgan's place among the replacements



Wales - for whom Gethin Jenkins will become joint-record cap-holder alongside Stephen Jones on 104 - include Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies for the first time since November



Davies will make his comeback from a serious chest injury, while Alun Wyn Jones returns to the starting XV after recovering from a foot infection



Luke Charteris pulled out with a neck problem on Friday and has been replaced in the Wales line-up by Jake Ball


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