Red Rose revenge mission.
England will still be seething after their humiliating defeat at the hands of the Welsh in last year’s title-deciding finale, when their Grand Slam and Championship dreams were blown asunder at the Millennium Stadium.
These were the two best teams in the 2013 tournament and – despite the Welsh slip up in Dublin – the winners of this fixture will again have every chance of being crowned champions in 2014.
English tails are up after coming out on top in a hugely intense and physical battle with Ireland. They may only have won by three points but that kind of hard-fought victory will do wonders for their self-belief.
Stuart Lancaster’s side have proved they have the beef and certainly possess enough strike runners to make inroads into any defensive system. Mike Brown has been the standout attacker so far this season with six clean breaks and 265 metres made with ball in hand/ England will again have to do without the indomitable presence of Manu Tuilagi, still missing through injury.
However, stopping the big Welsh runners at source will be the key to winning this rugby match – something England’s defence look well equipped to deal with.
Wales, too, come into this game with a spring in their step after bouncing back from that Dublin defeat with an emphatic 27-6 win at home to France.They are further boosted by the timely return of two Lions, in centre Jonathan Davies and second row Alun Wyn Jones.
Wales’ recent record against England is impressive, winning the last three encounters. That run extends to four from the last six, with two of those victories crucially coming at ‘fortress’ Twickenham.
However it’s hard to look beyond this new-look England side who continue to build steadily ahead of next year’s World Cup. With last year’s heartbreak on Welsh soil still fresh in their minds expect England to go for the jugular and pull clear before the end. With that in mind, England (-7.5) at 7/5 looks a shrewd investment.
England V Wales kicks off at 3pm tomorrow, Sunday, March 9th. Check out our odds on the match here.