Rooney laughs off Bale provocation


Wayne Rooney has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Gareth Bale ahead of England's Euro 2016 clash with Wales on Thursday.

Real Madrid forward Bale accused England of not possessing the same passion as their Welsh counterparts and also hinted at English arrogance prior to the Group B game in Lens.

He told reporters: "I think we've got a lot more passion and pride about us than them. We'll definitely show that on the day.

"There is no pressure on us. They big themselves up before they've done anything, so we're going to go there and we believe we can beat them."

Rooney was asked about Bale's comments following England's 1-1 draw with Russia in Marseille and was happy to play a straight bat.

The England captain said: "That's what he feels, I'm sure all of England's players feel different. He's a proud Welshman, that's where he's from. We are from England and we're proud Englishmen.

"You have to be proud to play for your country. We are, otherwise we wouldn't be here.

"It's a hugely-anticipated game, we have to recover from the Russia match and get ready."

Bale scored direct from a free-kick as Wales opened their campaign with a 2-1 win over Slovakia and is the obvious dangerman in Chris Coleman's squad.

Despite his admiration for Bale, Rooney does not expect England to alter their tactics to combat the threat posed by the 26-year-old.

"He's a fantastic player, in the top five in the world. And he's the biggest threat for Wales but I don't think we'll go out and man-mark him. I think we'll have to play our own game," Rooney added.

"I'm sure they have a lot to think about as well."