England prepared for Welsh ‘hatred’ at Twickenham, says Jack Nowell
Winger believes hostility will be part of fixture as hosts look to avenge heavy loss last year
Wales will be motivated by their hatred of England when the sides face off in Sunday's Six Nations showdown at Twickenham, said English wing Jack Nowell.
England are bidding to avenge last year's 30-3 loss to Wales, which enabled Warren Gatland's side to secure the title, and defeat would likely be fatal to either team's hopes of winning this year's championship.
Nowell played for the England team that beat Wales in last year's junior World Cup final and says he knows what to expect from the Welsh when he makes his first senior appearance against them.
"I loved winning that tournament. We fell behind in the first half and a few things didn't go well for us, but obviously it was nice to come back in the end and get the win," Nowell said. "We're going out to play against a team that hate you and want to do anything to beat you up or beat you in the game."
England scrum half Danny Care agrees the rivalry between the teams is underpinned by genuine dislike, but believes his side are ready to cope with the hostility Wales will throw at them.
"You know when you play Wales that they don't like you, which you get used to as an England player. You relish that and look forward to the challenge," he said. "Any time you play for England it's a great feeling, but with the Welsh you know they are coming for a battle. We are up for the challenge."
Care also revealed that England head coach Stuart Lancaster has been actively seeking to increase his players' sense of pride about representing their country.
"You hear a lot about how proud Ireland, Wales and Scotland are and we kind of get forgotten. I think we are an unbelievably proud country," Care said.
"Obviously, Stuart has done a lot of stuff to reconnect everyone with grass-roots rugby and see the heritage side of things, the lads who have played before us in the shirt and gave their lives in the war. We have gone on that journey, looked at stuff like that and seen how much it means.
"We are playing for them and playing for the whole country. We are incredibly proud of putting on the England shirt and running out at Twickenham."
Hooker Dylan Hartley believes England forwards are ready for another searching examination of their credentials against Wales. .
England's scrum was dismantled by the Welsh last year but Hartley believes they have improved considerably as a unit. "The lessons have been learned from that game," he said. "I think our forward pack has developed hugely in the last 12 months."
England forwards coach Graham Rowntree worked with several members of the Wales pack during last year's successful British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.
"They are very powerful. Well-drilled and very experienced," Rowntree said.
"What I mean by experienced is dealing with different scenarios thrown at you in a game and they've got that on us at the moment. We've got some young guys who are learning week by week and this is another big challenge for them."
England will again be without injured tighthead prop Dan Cole, who missed the 13-10 victory over Ireland in the last match, and No 8 Billy Vunipola, who suffered an ankle injury in the game.
The experienced David Wilson replaced Cole against the Irish at Twickenham, while Ben Morgan came on for Vunipola, helping Lancaster's developing side to an important win.
Agence France-Presse, Reuters