RBS Six Nations 2012: Wales team to play England at Twickenham

Captain Sam Warburton returns to the Wales side for Saturday’s key clash with England, as does second row Alun Wyn Jones after recovering from a dislocated toe. The tournament favourites also pick George North again on the left wing, after the winger was carried off against Scotland with an ankle injury.

Wales:

15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. Jonathan Davies, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. George North, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Mike Phillips, 1. Gethin Jenkins, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Adam Jones, 4. Alun Wyn Jones, 5. Ian Evans, 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Sam Warburton (c), 8. Toby Faletau

Replacements:

16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Paul James, 18. Ryan Jones, 19. Justin Tipuric, 20. Lloyd Williams, 21. James Hook, 22. Scott Williams

27 thoughts on “RBS Six Nations 2012: Wales team to play England at Twickenham

  1. Just can’t see anything but a Welsh win – I’m still nto convinced that Wales are as good as everyone thinks, but I just can’t find a position where England have an advantage.

    1. The lineout was a potential area of weakness and has been pretty dreadful in Wales’ first two games. AWJ’s return should help them here I would think, but England ought to be putting pressure on every Ken Owens throw-in.

      That said, even if England can nick lots of Wales possession, what are they going to do with it?! Might be better to let them win lineouts and hope for a chargedown.

      1. Agree on possession not potentially mattering. Edwards wrote a fantastic article on the ball not mattering, and sometimes hindering, using the RWC as an example.

        As a random stat for you, the IRB reckoned that in last years 6N, only 8 of the 15 games were won by the team with more ball.

        Mind you giving away attacking line outs is a real Achilles heel for Wales, so England could take full advantage of that

  2. can’t fault that team, hope Ken Owens has a good game with the line outs and he could keep the shirt. I feel sorry for Ryan Jones to play so well and end up on the bench but Alun Wyn has been missed as a jumper.

  3. Hard on Ryan Jones as said as he has played well but the lineout has been creaky .

    Best team we could put out probably only Charteris ,Bradley Davies and Matthew Rhys missing from first choice selection .

    Whilst I don’t think it will be easy or indeed pretty there can be no excuses on the selection score from Wales just a bit nervous to be the bookies favourite !

  4. Oh yes and will Austin Healey pick the favourites or stick with his pre tournament opinions in the SportGuru league :-)

  5. As an England supporter, I’m really enjoying this underdog thing – I can see why the all the Celtic nations prefer the tag. I’m expecting to lose, but a hard fought defeat or even an unlikely win will seem fantastic. Nothing short of a thumping win will be seen as success for the Welsh, and to be fair, if their backs fire up, this is a real possibility. Looking forward to the game!

  6. Hard on Ryan being dropped after two blinders, but can’t see where he can squeeze into that XV. Wales’ bench is nearly as good as the POM’s starting XV. Game will be won by kicks, so hopefully Halfpenny has his kicking boots on again.

    1. Do you think we can do it like they occasionally do for my sons under 10’s team and when one team is short of numbers or struggling, they might “lend” the other team some of their own players. Seeing as you’re bench is so strong, can we borrow some?

  7. I wonder if phillips is a potential source of weakness for England to exploit. When he plays well Wales win, but I have seen him fall apart in matches when things go wrong. He’s not got the quickest pass, and if the back row can do a number on him and starve ball to the dangerous welsh backs…you never know.

    Still think Wales will win, even more so if Lancaster doesn’t go for Barrit and Tuilagi in the centres.

    1. I agree – if you want to put pressure on the Welsh then you attack Phillips lazy pass. Forget about the line-out – England’s line has been just as poor as the Welsh.

      In saying that, I think Wales are a much stronger side, even negating some odd selection choices by Stuart Lancaster.

  8. I hate it when England fans are arrogant before a game.
    I feel the same way about the arrogance that is oozing from the pores of the Welsh this time around.

    I find myself as a neutral cheering on England for the first time as a result.

    1. Arrogance is when you think your nation is far superior and negotiate with the france to play in the Tri Nations, as their bordering nations are to weak. Can’t imagine who could be that arrogant LOL

  9. Agree with kirstie, Wales are without a doubt favourites and an England win would be a big surpirse but this Welsh team is the All Blacks just yet.

    They lost a few close games in the World cup, even though SA wasn’t their fault, some could argue they were lucky to beat WS as the Samoans had their chances. They just ran out of steam. Aus did them over easily and it was hardly like they smashed Ireland to pieces. They have weaknesses in the LIneout and their scrum is heavily dependent on Jones. Phillips is a unique scrum half but has a bad pass and sometimes makes bad decisions. If Roberts doesn’t get over the gain line their backline isn’t half as effective, all these are small issues and considering the age of the team I have no doubt they will go on to do great things. The most impressive thing is their mental strength.

    The main worry is this England team looks extremely ordinary, not to say bad, but nothing to worry people, no big scarry pack, no wonder backs. I have trouble seeing where England will score tries. Tuillagi is a must as he is a big hitter and a line breaker, which England have few of. Barrit is an excellent defender but less because of his hard hitting and more because of his reading of the play, he identifies who will get the ball very fast and tackles them well before the gain line, so even if they gain an extra 3 metres in the contact, they are still behind the line. Farrel has to go for this game and Barrit inside centre. Hodgson is a gppd kicker and a good game manager, too much is made of his tackling, he isn’t that bad, he seems very mature in his play at the moment and exeperience isn’t abundant in this team.

    The main problem is backrow, I am really concened Wales are going to kill us at the breakdown, they are evry good there. WE need to find a seven and that ain’t going to happen before next weekend.

    Good luck England

    but can’t see Wales losing

    1. “Scarry pack ” is the best typo I’ve seen in a long while ,yes England have had a few of those over the years !

  10. I love watching Wales play, they’re my favourite team to watch in this six nations so far (thats a massive compliment coming from an englishman haha). But yes, they’re not as complete as everyone believes. Lineout has been a shambles and is an area England must surely be targeting, of course, Alun Wyn has been brough in to help remedy that. Philips is the tallets scrum-half playing in the tournament, the only problem with that is since he’s taller he has bigger arms which have to be moved further, hence slow pass. He’s hard to target because he’s so big and strong (much like all of the Welsh backline) but he does crack sometimes. The backrow is very impressive. Come the next six nations I expect Wales to have one of the most complete back rows in world rugby. If I was England I’d put pressure on Priestland and Halfpenny. If Priestland starts to crumble that makes Roberts much less effective, as Roberts relies on his understanding of Priestland to get the timing of the pass right, which allows him to go rampaging up the field, get Wales on the front foot and from there, quick ball to the rest of the backs. Roberts is the key to the Welsh attack. Halfpenny isn’t perfect under the high ball, putting pressure on him may yield a few mistakes which will give England an excellent chance to pressure the all-important Welsh pack which provides the platform that Priestland and co thrive off.
    I hope this game is a corker.

    1. Being a Welshman i hope all the comments become reality, i feel Wales are far from the finished article, poor out of hand kicking, poor decision making and their line outs have to improve – and Mike Phillips frightens me to death when he messes around at the foot of the scrum. If and it is in my opinion a big if, England back row hassles Phillips and disrupts Priestland feed to the three quarters – compete at all Wales lineouts then England can obviously win. Wales have been fortunate and have had the run of the green in both games to date ( although about time ) and could quite easily have been going into this game without a win. This has been a weak 6 nations and Wales have had there moments of brilliance and are winning – a continued improvement performance is required for Wales to compete with the southern hemisphere Teams – and Wales have had good seasons in the past. I hope this time it is not another Welsh false dawn and they continue to progress, i for one at present a very happy Welsman at this moment in time.

  11. Wales need to have their top 30 players under central contract with the WRU or this may be the last 6 nations we are able to compete in – make the most of it Wales

    1. amathus for a happy compatriot you are sounding pretty pessimistic!

      I think all neutral commentators believed that Wales deserved to win both opening games .The Scots huffed and puffed with the ball but only scored when Wales were out of sight .I think the penalty at the death against Ireland was fortunate but look at the play from inside our 22 which got us into that position and it was hardly good fortune that seemed to disallow a perfectly good Ryan Jones try just because there was no right camera angle .

      I would like to see top Welsh players playing for the regions but if they go abroad this will give youngsters a chance and the “stars” are still available to Wales in any event. Rhys Gill’s path for instance was blocked at the Blues by Gethin Jenkins but he’s stepped up now as one for the future with Saracens so who’s to say this will not be repeated . It seems to me that the regions will also now throw less money away on overseas players too which is a positive.

      Glass half full mun at the moment not half empty .

      1. Hi Pontylad, i agree with alot you have said, like i said it’s about time we had the run of the green, it’s about time. I think Wales deserved their wins but to be honest against two average teams on the day. Smiling, i am a little pessimistic but that comes from the roller coaster ride us welsh fans have experienced over the years. The Team deserve the praise they are getting at present, but lets not get carried away with thinking they are anything but a good side with a potential of being great. I hope your right, but i can see one of the regions becoming deleted, must get central contracts thou.
        Oh my glass is half full and making the most of it. One more thing, i am still the only one who stands at the National Anthem in my local, is this the same for you lol. I also think Wales will win comfortably if we win our own set pieces –

  12. Hi amathus I’ll burst into tears in my own living room let alone stand up in the pub when the anthem starts. When I go to the Millenium Stadium one my pet hates are people who wander in late half way through the anthems with a tray of beer -a time and a place.

    THis side haven’t won anything yet but I do believe at last that a foundation is in place for more than a flash in the pan success like 2005 or 2008 good as those Slams were .

    It wouldn’t be Welsh rugby though without a bit of a roller-coaster which this regional rugby financial crises business is supplying at the moment ,anyway here’s to a good one on Saturday and have a pint in that local from me !

    1. Pleased to hear it, i am the same, not only in my living room, in the pub and the stadium. Yeh, i will have a pint from you, maybe bump into each other at the stadium when we maybe celebrating ( won’t say the fatel words quite yet ) and i will buy you a bucket of the drink of your choice.
      Just seen the England team – game – on i think.

  13. Agree with the game analysis… and I may be biased for being a Newport boy… but Toby Felatau. Facilitating plays, smashing through lines and creating opportunity… a true asset

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