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Sport Wales v England UK national media verdict as 'biggest win in 13 years' expected

16:35  28 november  2020
16:35  28 november  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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It's Wales v England day and you'd be hard pressed to find many people backing Wayne Pivac's side for a win.

Here's a round-up of what's being said in the UK national press on the other side of the Severn Bridge.

Ex-England fly-half Andy Goode, Rugby Pass

For the first time in many years there does seem to be a significant difference between the two sides on paper and Wales’ best bet might be to hope for an absolute downpour, which hasn’t been forecast, to level the playing field a bit.

I just don’t see any area where the home side has the edge and when you add the massive contrast in confidence between the two sides at the moment into the mix as well, it could be the biggest margin of victory for England in this fixture since the hammering in a World Cup warm-up back in 2007.

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Media player. "It's a big loss for Wales , they were totally outplayed. England 's defence dominated their ball carriers. England forwards pile in to hold up their Wales counterparts from kick-off. Time drains away and Jerome Garces calls an end to the contest.

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People do want to see more from England but Wales are a good example of what can happen if you try to change too much. They may see results in the long run but they’re stuck between the old way of playing under Warren Gatland and how Wayne Pivac wants to do things at the moment.

Clearly, this is a big day for the Wales coach and it’s a huge test of Alun Wyn Jones’ leadership as well because he’s seen almost everything in his career but he’s surrounded by some inexperienced faces in that forward pack and people are starting to question him.

Nobody can take away any of his achievements over the years but he knows as well as anybody that it’s all about the here and now and I do understand the reasons behind some of the question marks at the moment.

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He’s coming up against Maro Itoje, who is the best player in the world in his position right now and one of the best players in the world full stop, so there’s no better time to show that you still have what it takes to go on the British & Irish Lions tour next year.

People will call me an arrogant Englishman but I just think everything points towards a comfortable England victory and I think the margin could be 20 or 25 points in the final reckoning.

Sir Clive Woodward, Daily Mail

Like just about every rugby watcher, I’m expecting a convincing England win on Saturday, but that alone puts a lot of extra pressure on Eddie Jones and his team.

England are beginning to hit their straps, while Wales are struggling through a transitional period, are short on confidence and injuries have added to their problems. But they do have Alun Wyn Jones!

Wales hosting England is where the home crowd can potentially make the biggest difference and this game will be poorer for the absence of fans. In 2013 when England were going for the Grand Slam, I stood on the touchline, watched and listened to the national anthems, watched the body language of both teams... and there was only one winner. The Wales crowd would not allow their team to lose that day.

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That goes out the window now, with the match played at an empty Parc y Scarlets. I’m sure there will be plenty of shouting, fist pumps and celebrating to create excitement and energy. But that extra adrenalin from the crowd is something I suspect Wales will badly miss. England must take advantage.

Chris Foy, Daily Mail

England made a familiar journey west on Friday, full of respect for a rivalry which they could leave in ruins on Saturday.

After so many years of highly competitive cross-border conflict, the old enemies may discover on Saturday that there is now a gulf between them.

For a generation, this has been a fervent tussle for supremacy, but a Welsh win this time would be regarded as a monumental upset.

England have the capacity to inflict terrible harm on vulnerable opponents.

The bad news for Wales is that the visitors are determined not to take them lightly.

Recent history suggests games against Wales have been among the biggest for England. Yet Pivac’s team do not appear equipped to offer meaningful resistance.

Gavin Mairs, Telegraph

This glorious old fixture, so often more akin to a ferocious expression of nationhood than a rugby match, has already been effectively declared a foregone conclusion by the bookmakers.

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Prices on Friday had England 1/12 favourites, with the handicap betting giving Wales a 16-point start. One can only wonder what the great Welsh sides of the 1970s, or indeed the three Grand Slam-winning sides forged by previous head coach Warren Gatland, would have made of those odds?

But this is a new era, under Wayne Pivac, who must at times wonder about calling David Moyes, who had the impossible task of following Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, for any tips on taking over from Gatland.

Paul Rees, Guardian

Wales suffered their worst Six Nations campaign since 2007, the last before Gatland’s arrival. Pivac largely used the players he had inherited, but five of the side to start against England have been given their first caps by him and another five played under him at the Scarlets. With players such as George North, Gareth Davies and Cory Hill overlooked, he is moving on from a remould .

England, with their 6-2 split in favour of forwards on the bench, will look to outmuscle and overpower Wales before letting loose a back division based on stealth and speed rather than size as their head coach, Eddie Jones, scents weakness.

Wales v England - kicking off at 4pm - will be broadcast live on S4C and Amazon Prime Video. You can sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial here.

Wales v England exact scoreline predicted for Autumn Nations Cup clash in Llanelli .
Our rugby writers have each predicted what will happen in Saturday's Wales v England match as the Autumn Nations Cup enters its third roundWayne Pivac's Wales side have recorded just two wins this year, against Italy in February and Georgia last weekend, amassing six consecutive defeats in between.

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