Things are heating up in advance of the winner takes all encounter between England and Wales in Saturday’s Six Nations clash at Twickenham.
The hand bags are out and the mind games have begun. First blood went to Wales after Warren Gatland and Robin McBryde accused England of some illegal scrummaging techniques, singling out Joe Marler in particular.
Now, in a move that sees England head coach Eddie Jones ending his self-imposed media silence, England have fired back a similar accusation at the Welsh pack.
Speaking BBC Radio 5 Live, Jones said;
“Wales play the laws very well. I’m quite upset about the way they scrummage.”
He went on to state;
“They scrummage illegally. They pre-engage all the time, which is against the laws of the game.”
This statement is likely intended to bring focus on the Welsh at scrum time, just as Gatland’s comments on England’s technique will do for Jones’ side.
It’s all gone a bit ‘school yard’ as the coaches try to get into the head of the referee before match day. Both realise what is at stake on Saturday and are keen to distrupt their opponents’ strengths at the scrum.
With England playing to keep alive their Grand Slam hopes and first title since 2011, Jones is keen to get the last word in.
“We’ve got the stronger scrum, so we want proper scrum laws. We want the laws enforced and if they are enforced we’ll get an advantage in that area.”
With this said and the gauntlet thrown down, focus on the scrum is inevitable as both sides will look to stamp their authority in the pack from the start.
With both England and Wales hitting top form the expectation is for a gripping encounter. Now, with the managers trading barbs, things have just gotten a whole lot spicer.
Kick off in Twickenham is 16:00.
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