Wales vs England | Friday 6 February, 2015 | Millenium Stadium | 20.05
The Six Nations opens in just a few hours as Wales open the doors of the Millennium stadium to old rivals England.
There’s been a lot of speculation in the run up to Stuart Lancaster’s squad selection with much to be talked about. England faced several key injuries, including to number eight Ben Morgan, which forced Lancaster to look elsewhere, opting instead to play Saracens’ Billy Vunipola.
He’ll be joined on the back row by captain Chris Robshaw and James Haskell, while Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi both miss out in midfield allowing for Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph to start.
Danny Cipriani missed out on the November internationals but has been recalled to the team for Friday’s game, although he is likely to start on the bench alongside Nick Easter.
Easter, the Harlequins number 8, hasn’t played for England since their quarter final exit from the 2011 World Cup but has been proving himself in Europe sufficiently to earn a call up from Lancaster.
Richard Wigglesworth will also start on the bench as Lancaster has opted to start with Ben Youngs at scrum half.
2012 and 2013 Champions Wales will be out for revenge after losing to England in last year’s competition and are keen to get what would also be an excellent psychological victory in a world cup year.
However despite England’s win last year, much talk is still on Wales’ 30-3 humbling of England two years ago.
Wales’ Jamie Roberts, who will be making a record-busting 26th consecutive Six Nations appearance for Wales, knows how helpful the pain of defeat can be as motivation.
“The hurt of those defeats motivates you,” said Roberts.
“That’s why they [England] are a massively dangerous side on Friday night. The players who played two years ago will be hurt by what happened.
“There is nothing more challenging than a wounded animal. When you go through those lows it’s about how you react, and we will see a very good England side on Friday night. We will have to be on the top of our game.
“It’s a massive game and you couldn’t ask for a bigger test to start the tournament.”
Warren Gatland has put together a tough line-up to face England , including British and Irish Lions pairing Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies as well as some riskier selections such as the young Samson Lee up front.
Wales vs England Betting Tips
Wales have the advantage at the Millenium Stadium but England will be looking for the grand slam ahead of the World Cup at home. Back Wales to be leading after the first half but England to steal ahead to victory, priced at 7/1 with Betway.