After four weeks of competition it’s come down to the final game to decide who will not only take the Six Nations title, but possibly a Grand Slam too. A win in Cardiff will do it for England, but Wales have plenty to play for themselves.
To achieve a tournament win, Wales need to beat England by eight points. If they win by seven and England don’t score two more tries than them, they will also win. A victory by less than seven points would mean that England will win the title, but not the highly sought after Grand Slam.
Wales have had injury trouble this week as Ryan Jones has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. He will likely be out for six to eight weeks. Coach Rob Howley will name his team on Thursday at 1pm, with the big question being who will be named as skipper in Jones’ absence.
This weekend will of course also be another chance for British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland to have a look at the possible candidates ahead of his important selections for the tour. He will be watching Ireland and Scotland too, but considers the Cardiff game a bit of a ‘final.
“For me, as Lions coach, it is really exciting this weekend that it has come down to a ‘final’,” Gatland told the Telegraph. “It is a situation that you want to see players in, under pressure, and it is what we are going to face in Australia.
“It is not a trial game but it is a trial game, that’s how it has worked out. You are not going to select the Lions just on Wales v England but for some players in some positions there are key match-ups that could weigh up the decision one way or another,” he said.
“So there shouldn’t be any lack of motivation. I know if I was playing I would be saying I would be thinking: ‘I have a chance to get myself on the plane. I am not leaving anything in the tank’.”
Ahead of the big game O2 Inside Line looks at things from an England point of view, as James Haskell and Toby Flood analyse the Italy game, we learn more about some of the players, and there is a great chat with England attack coach, Mike Catt.