No team talk needed as Wales meet England after scrum fallout


Neil Jenkins says Wales should not need a team talk ahead of a potentially decisive Six Nations clash with Grand Slam chasers England following a war of words between the two sets of coaches.

Wales visit Twickenham on Saturday aiming to derail England's bid for a first Grand Slam since 2003 and put themselves in pole position to lift the trophy.

The stakes were raised this week when Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde hit out at England prop Joe Marler for the angle at which he packs down at the scrum.

England head coach Eddie Jones was quick to respond, slamming Wales for getting away with scrummaging "terribly illegally" and calling on referee Craig Joubert to ensure he properly enforces the rules at the scrum.

But Wales skills coach Jenkins has backed Joubert to make the right decisions on the big stage, saying: "Craig's a very good referee, there's no doubting that, he's been one of the best for a long period, he'll assess the scrums as and when.

"We obviously hope it goes our way, I'm sure he'll make good decisions.

"I think you've got a serious problem if you need a team talk for a Wales - England game, irrelevant of what the coaches say.

"There's always stuff going to be said in the press, whether it be scrummaging, attack, defence, contact area, whatever, it doesn't make any difference to us.

"This is a humungous game for ourselves and for England, Wales - England is anyway irrelevant of what's at stake. Stuff goes on in the press, we know what that's all about but we've got a game to focus on and a big Test match to win.

"It'll go a long way to deciding the trophy. If we can get across the line, we know we've got a tough game against Italy next week, we'd back ourselves at home, we would expect to win.

"Winning goes a long way for us deciding the title and likewise for England I'm sure I think if they turn us over that's the Triple Crown in the bag for them and obviously they've got a Grand Slam game in Paris next week."

Away from the back and forth over the issue of scrums, one of the big storylines surrounding the game is the return of Manu Tuilagi, who spent 15 months on the sidelines because of a groin injury, to the England bench.

Tuilagi could make his first England appearance since June 2014 and told the Rugby Football Union's website: "Wales are a good side, we've studied them but we need to get ourselves right and focus on ourselves.

"We are excited to go out there and do the job. They are a physical team but we are excited by the challenge and we are ready."