Thursday 27 October 2016

Richard Wigglesworth: Wales will throw the kitchen sink at England

Richard Wigglesworth expects Saturday's Twickenham collision with "revved up" old foes Wales will bring out the best in England as they attempt to put one foot in the World Cup quarter-finals.

A 35-11 victory over Fiji secured a bonus-point that could prove decisive in the final reckoning of an epic Pool A that also features Australia and Fiji, but it was a flawed performance that exposed shortcomings at the set-piece and breakdown.

England know a substantial improvement will be needed if Wales are to be dispatched, even if Warren Gatland's men have lost star backs Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Rhys Webb to injury for the entire tournament.

And yesterday, centre Cory Allen, who scored three of his country's eight tries in their opener against Uruguay, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament by a hamstring tear

"The injuries don't make Wales any weaker. Losing Webb was awful, but when you have a player with 99 caps like Mike Phillips to call up, it sharpens them up," Wigglesworth said.

"Wales have had a lot of time together and we know we are going to see the best of them on Saturday, which is hopefully going to bring out the best in us.

"We are under no illusions about how tough it's going to be, but we wouldn't want it any other way.

"Gatland will get his lads revved up but it's up to us to impose ourselves on them."

Wigglesworth is one of several players pushing to start against Wales and his argument for selection has been strengthened by Ben Youngs' below-par evening at scrum-half.


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