Six Nations 2013: Wales team to play England


Rob Howley has named his Wales team to play England in Cardiff on Saturday. Sam Warburton starts on the blindside with Justin Tipuric in at openside, while Gethin Jenkins is handed the captaincy. Kick off is at 17.00 GMT

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Alex Cuthbert
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Jamie Roberts
11. George North
10. Dan Biggar
9. Mike Phillips

1. Gethin Jenkins (c)
2. Richard Hibbard
3. Adam Jones
4. Alun-Wyn Jones
5. Ian Evans
6. Sam Warburton
7. Justin Tipuric
8. Toby Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Paul James, Scott Andrews, Andrew Coombs, Aaron Shingler, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams

What do you make of the back-row balance? Is Jenkins the right choice as captain?

48 thoughts on “Six Nations 2013: Wales team to play England

  1. Warburton and Tipuric in the same XV finally, masterstroke. Other than Mitchell in for Andrews I wouldn’t change it. The roof will be closed so Im hoping for a good contest. Who is the ref?

      1. oh god, I really hope we will be talking bout the game not the ref after. please, I miss rugby…

        1. the biggest shame is that this could be a mouth watering fixture if both teams can produce their best form. unfortunately walsh is more interested in himself that i dont think he will allow the game to flow enough for us to actually see both teams have a good crack.

          i can guarantee that whichever team loses the blame will most likely be quite rightly placed on a few questionable decisions.

  2. I like the balance of this team. Most of the players on the bench offer something different to those starting so we can switch things around if needed.

    However, still too tough to call. Heart says Wales by seven; head says Wales to lose by 6 or win by 3.

  3. Like the team, however I believe AWJ should have been Captain with Paul James staring & GJ on the Bench, can’t see him lasting the whole game, leaving SW to pick up the arm band.

  4. I just hope that whatever the outcome we get a good game, and the ref doesn’t have to get too involved.

    Then I found out Steve Walsh was the ref!!!!!!!! Even if he doesn’t need to get involved he will. How did he get the job? Even Rolland would be better!

  5. Rolland to the Welsh is what Walsh is to the English.

    Walsh had this fixture last year as well at HQ. Surely they should’ve changed it up this year?

    As a Welshman i’m not really complaining though, i still think he was the best on show last week!

    1. and what barnes is to ireland. i thought joubert was fine for the sco wal game. kinda hope wales win as england are dominating right now.

    2. as an englishman i genuinely think i would have prefer have nigel owens ref! yes he is welsh, but he is a pro, and even on an off day would be less bias/better than walsh can be!

  6. Scrum – Advantage Wales
    Lineout – Advantage England
    Breadown – Advantage Wales
    Ball carrying – Big advantage Wales
    Half backs – Advantage England
    Centres – Even
    Back 3 – no contest, form Vs farce
    Bench – Even

    If I pick a combined 15 it’s 8 English and 7 Welsh but, other than lineout options, I can’t see any weaknesses in the Welsh side and I think they can exploit the weaknesses in the English side. Wales start favourites and I think it’s 50:50 on whether they win by 7.

    1. Mostly agree Matt though I think Wales’ bench is stronger as it’s not as like-for-like as the English one. Lloyd Williams, Owens, Hook all bring something different to the game.

      Other things

      Penalty kicking – Eng (this is a niggly one as this could be the difference).
      Penalty giving away – hmmmmmm … anyone’s guess ….
      Experience – Wales
      Nerves – Even (Wales won’t want to lose at home, Eng won’t want to fluff the GS again).
      Fitness – Even
      Luck – England (call it something else if calling it luck offends, I just mean that in close games Eng have a history of it going their way, Wales don’t)

      1. I don’t think it’s fair to say England have the advantage on pens. Barring a few misses at the start of the Scotland game Halfpenny’s kicking form has been flawless for months. I’d say they’re even at best.

        1. I’d say England shade it on pen kicking – on current form if there were 10 pens I’d expect 1/2p to nail 9 but Farrel to get all 10.

          1. Disagree with your assessment of the Eng bench Brighty on both counts. The bench has been one of our greatest weapons this tournament and don’t think players are like for like! Mako will bring ball carrying that Marler won’t. Hartley is arguably better at scrum time and def in lineout, Haskell offers more go forward than croft in the tight. Care will bring back the fizz as Youngs tiers a bit. Flood will attack the 9-10 channel where Farrell won’t and 36 is completely different to either centre. Every one bar maybe Flood could easily have, and has had, a starting spot so think/hope that is an adv to Eng

          2. I was erring towards edge to England on the bench. I think England have some better “impact players”, Wales more variation to change a game.

          3. agree with Ben here. England’s players are different on the bench.

            as said, Hartley is less dynamic than Youngs, but his set piece is better.
            Mako is a big impact carrier when he gets on. he is also pretty useful in the scrum. Marler’s best trait is that he likes to make a few tackles and has been pretty mobile for a prop.
            Lawes is more of a defender who likes to make big hits. Launchbury and Parling are better when attacking.
            Haskell hits rucks and makes tackles, with the occasional big run. Croft is a big lineout presence and likes running wider out.
            Care is less of a kicker than youngs. he comes on and keeps the foot on the gas, he can sometime speed the ball up too.
            Flood comes on and attacks the gainline. He also likes to play inside balls, which stops the defence from drifting too early.
            and as Ben said, 12Ts is NOTHING like the other centres. he is a centre who likes to kick and pass, but he has the ability to truck it up if needed. he also tries to get on the outside of people, rather than go over them.

          1. I would have to agree with robbo and say that I think England’s bench is better. I don’t think I would go as far as to say much better, but I think on form they shade it.

            After all some of the England bench have been spoken about as pretty serious contenders for the lions tour, whereas I would say that hook, and maybe Coombs would be the ones from the welsh bench. England have Hartley, mako, lawes, care, twelvetrees, and even Haskell has popped up a few times, and dare I say it, flood was an option for lions reserve 10 before the tournament started.

  7. Happy with the Team – concerned that the talking point after the game will be about the ref not the rugby. Not sure if Jenkins will last the 80 mins but have to trust Howleys judgement on that. Hope hook gets a chance at centre at some stage. Can’t wait for Saturday. Wales win but too many scenarios to make a call by how many but they must compete in first 20 mins

    1. Must compete for the full 80+. This game has every chance of being won in the last minute of the game.

      1. Yeh, silly comment i knew that when i posted, but if we are within 3 points with 10 to go i will be confident. Yeh, a full 80 would be good wouldn’t it lol

  8. Not sure about Gethin as captain – interesting call. Glad Tipuric is starting as he won’t be so effective. Very even. Heart says England by 3 and head says Wales by 3. This one is going to require some ale to calm the nerves!

  9. Who says the roof will be closed Lukov? England have to agree to that & there is no way they will want a running game with dry ground which will give the Welsh backs the advantage … the atmoshere of course !

      1. If England had the same amount of cheek as Wales they would have suggested the game was played at Twickenham :-)

  10. Just done the office sweepstakes got Alun Wyn Jones and Tom Wood ,cacked the draw up somehow and Gethin Jenkins is left over the pot is going to Red Nose day if he scores first/last try could be a good omen shades of 2005 .

  11. It’s all getting a little too much – longest week of my life lol mouth watering prospect isn’t it

  12. Still think centres are a problem for Wales. Roberts and Davies are just too similar. Big guys that look for contact. JD has added some subtler dimensions too his game like grabber kicking and a bit of passing but those features have been less prominent this tournament. Jamie Roberts doesn’t make the yards he used too. Think halfback is a problem as biggar seems to be struggling to unleash those outside him. Play seems to be too lateral too quickly or gets slowed at a breakdown. The danger man is George north. He’s had nothing to work with in terms of getting his hands on the ball and he’s still beating defenders for fun. Wales must bring that unit into the game more if they want to beat that seven point deficit. He’s a threat every time he runs at defenders, beating them, moving defences around, going over the top of people. North finds a way through. Biggest blow to Wales is the loss of Ryan jones. I know tipuric is class at the breakdown, especially I’m the Rabo 12, but the guy just looks too small and light at international level. He can’t influence the breakdown like he usuall does for ospreys, seemingly that the bigger guys can move him a lot quicker and easier to the heavier warburton. Jones has been a pillar of reliability. Carries, tackles, line out presence, breakdown presence. The welsh back row looks very lightweight. Of course not that much is lost ball carrying wise because jones and Evans do their fair share in the engine room as does Jenkins up front. Can see mike Phillips slow passing hindering the welsh attack somewhat. Biggar thrives on front foot ball, this does make him try to step and go himself however. Probably the reason why he has a higher turnover rate than most welsh 10s in the Rabo. All in all the scrum is going to be epic, as well as the rest of the game hopefully.

    1. Can’t really complain about much you have said James, although England have their problems also so i think it’s pretty much evenly matched

      1. Yeah, exactly what makes it so intriguing! Ill go into depth on the England page in a bit. Seems unfair for me to say JR and JD are one dimensional when BB and MT are setting the international stage alight for England… In the same way that a destruction derby is beautiful? Still, everyone loves to see unstoppable forces meet immovable objects. The back rows of both teams are incredible mobile. Wales have more breakdown nous yet England should be able to provide a bit more in the way of ball carrying and line out jumping. I hate going too in depth with analysis though, anything can happen on the day!

  13. So damn excited. After last weeks plays, this is now NH team #1 vs. NH team #2, with a Grand Slam/Championship decider thrown in for good measure. Going to be a hell of a bloody game. I’m half Welsh myself so they’ve always been my 2nd team after England, with the other two home nations closely behind.
    I’ll be sad to see England flop another Grand Slam, but as long as the rugby played is good and France end up with the Wooden Spoon, I’ll be happy.

    1. Unsure, and this is a proud Welshman saying this, where to put my money on this game, but I will backing France to at last come up with a win, and Italy to finish with two wins. £10.00 accumilator, but Wales or England???????????????????????????

  14. So England want the roof closed to ‘play Wales at their own game ‘ eh ? can’t see it to be honest, Englands game is to grind down opponents and play for penalties for Farrell to knock them over. Can ANYONE see England playing an open attacking game ?.

    1. It’s what they’ve tried to do all tournament (except against Ireland). They just haven’t been good at it so far (except against Scotland).

  15. I cant believe england would be so dumb as to request this.

    Wales by 10 was my prediction before, pop another try on there now! Silly silly england, dont play wales at there own game…

    1. Steve and Michael.

      If england want to grind a team down, and try and win on penalties, then surely the roof closed is a good move. after all, there is now no wind or rain, making goal kicking a lot easier.

      also i can quite happily see england playing an open and fast game, they did against NZ and Scotland. Whether they produce it again is another question, but we at least know they are capable of it.

      clear conditions means that we will see the likes of croft and launchbury using their footballing ability a bit more.

      and on a more detached note, finally we will have a game where the awful weather wont be the reason for a rubbish game of rugby. (now we just need to change the ref)

  16. My point isn’t the benefit of lack of wind etc, obviously that makes kicks better but would benefit halfpenny just as much. The aspect that I like alot more is the ground, less handling errors will be a big impact on the game compared to last weeks matches.

    It will allow for a more “free-flowing” gameplay, no more slip-ups just as a breakaway gets started. To me this looks like a much bigger benefit than a clearer shot on the posts, and judging by the lineouts the welsh squad will have the upper hand.

    I’m not saying England are not “capable” of playing the fast-paced Rugby that led Wales to such a good WC/6N in recent years but I don’t think the experience on the English squad will manage against this Welsh squad on those grounds.

    It’s like putting a sumo wrestler in the ring with Ali, yeah they can both do there own “style” but the Sumo (England) is hardly going to manage to last 12rounds with Ali’s (wales) lightning quick speed….unless of course he manages to take out the legs in round1

    1. the comment about england being able to play fast and open was more directed at steve, who asked the question “can anyone see england playing a fast and open game”

      i agree with you, the closed roof will allow for all of those factors to be improved.

      but i do not think that it is wise simply to write england off because of the ability for wales to go wide and play fast in these conditions. after all, england may not attack that way, but they can defend that style of play, as they did against NZ, and that is the most important aspect.

      after all, it take a simple 3 points to win the game, england could not let wales score a point and kick a 3 pointer to win, or wales could do it to england (although that would be a bit silly, as they know they have to win by 7).

      this brings me on to another point.
      England are actually pretty well placed in this game. obviously winning the GS would be amazing, but england know that all they have to do is lose by 6 or less to win the 6Ns, wales know that they have to go out there and win by 7. therefore i would expect england to ease their way into the game, playing the corners and trucking it up in the middle. they can pretty much approach this game knowing that they have to do what scotland did to ireland. there is however the slight issue of steve walsh…

      1. Ummmm…Wales don’t play fast-paced, flowing rugby. they use their massive centres and wingers to grind teams down until either someone flops over from close range or Halfpenny boots the ball over

        England have a more mobile pack than Wales and proved they can play fast-paced, running rugby against NZ and Scotland

  17. Well, the good news is that the anti English rhetoric from the players has started. Let’s hope it continues and the Welsh team forget it’s a rugby game.

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