Six Nations: What time does Wales v England kick-off, who is the referee and how do I watch?

Wales have the home advantage with the game taking place in Cardiff Credit: PA

It has been a turbulent week inside the Welsh camp with confirmation that Saturday's game against England will go ahead coming only on Wednesday.

One of rugby union’s fiercest rivalries was engulfed by a threat of Wales players taking strike action earlier this week.

Talks took place at Wales' training base in the Vale of Glamorgan with players to discuss a range of issues with Professional Rugby Board members, with many of players out of contract at their regional teams at the end of this season.

Louis Rees-Zammit returns to the team following an injury Credit: PA

Warren Gatland told a press conference on Thursday that Wales’ focus will include “drawing a line in the sand” on off-field issues as they prepare for the showdon.

Acting WRU chief executive Nigel Walker and captain Ken Owen confirmed the match would be taking place on Wednesday evening.

Nigel Walker and Ken Owens confirmed the game would be going ahead on Wednesday evening

Mr Walker told the press he was pleased to confirm the game will go ahead, after "extensive discussions and conversations over the last week".

"It's important going forward we continue the dialogue which we've had over the last week or so but not under the circumstances we've had over the last week or so," he said.

He added that all those involved will meet "more regularly" than they have done in the past: "We are all motivated by a genuine desire to get things right for the future of Welsh rugby and this unites us.

"We will all now put this matter behind us and I know the nation will also unite as one behind the team when they face England in Cardiff on Saturday."

Gatland has made nine changes to his squad following Wales' recent loss to Ireland Credit: PA

Wales head coach Gatland delayed naming his team by 48 hours with the England game under serious threat of not going ahead.

But with the green light given and Gatland having selected a side showing nine changes, including no places for British and Irish Lions trio George North, Dan Biggar and Liam Williams, Saturday cannot come soon enough.

“These are circumstances that have been brought on by ourselves, and we can only take responsibility for those things ourselves,” Gatland said, reflecting on events of the past week.

  • So with the match confirmed, what time does it all kick off?

The game is being held at the Principality Stadium and kicks off at 4:45pm.

The match kicks off at 4:45pm Credit: PA

  • How can I watch it?

It will be broadcast live on BBC One and S4C.

Live commentary will be available on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru.

  • Who has been named in the line-up?

Wales have beaten England five times out of the last seven meetings in Cardiff Credit: PA

Captain Ken Owens will lead out the side on Saturday afternoon.

Gatland had praise for him who was a key voice for the players as the contract issues were thrashed out behind closed doors.

“There is no doubt that this week has taken a bit of a toll on him,” Gatland added.

“He has done a fantastic job in terms of supporting and leading the players. I made a joke that he looked 10 years younger this morning – it was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.”

Elsewhere, Warren Gatland has made nine changes to his team, with Dan Biggar and George North the big names to drop out.

Leigh Halfpenny returns from injury Credit: PA

The fly-half has been demoted to the bench and North will not be involved at all.

There are four changes in the backs. Leigh Halfpenny and Louis Rees-Zammit return from injury, Owen Williams gets a start in the No.10 jersey and 20-year-old Mason Grady will make his debut in North's place at outside centre.

Full team:

Leigh Halfpenny; Josh Adams, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins, Louis Rees-Zammit; Owen Willians, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens (C), Tomas Francis; Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones; Christ Tshiunza, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Reps: Bradley Roberts, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Kieran Hardy, Dan Biggar, Nick Tompkins.

  • Who is in the England team?

England's last Six Nations clash saw them beat Italy 32-14 Credit: PA

Freddie Steward; Max Malins; Henry Slade; Ollie Lawrence; Anthony Watson; Owen Farrell (C); Jack van Poortvliet; Ellis Genge; Jamie George; Kyle Sinckler; Maro Itoje; Ollie Chessum; Lewis Ludlam ; Jack Willis; Alex Dombrandt

Replacements: Jack Walker; Mako Vunipola; Dan Cole; Courtney Lawes; Ben Curry; Alex Mitchell; Marcus Smith; Henry Arundell

  • Will the roof be open or closed?

The Principality Stadium confirmed the roof will be open for the game, with both competing sides having to agree on whether they want it closed or not.

Coach Warren Gatland said that Wales have a better win record when it’s open telling a press conference, "I don’t know whether they’ve done their homework on that!"

  • Who is the referee?

It is the first time Raynal will oversee Wales against England Credit: PA

Frenchman Mathieu Raynal will run the rule over the game which has been dubbed one of the great fixtures in rugby.

It is the first time Raynal will oversee Wales against England and his eighth Guinness Six Nations match as referee.

  • Who are favourites?

Wales have had a disappointing start to their Six Nations campaign following heavy defeats to Scotland and Ireland.

They will striving to avoid three successive defeats for the first time since 2003, but they have beaten England five times out of the last seven meetings in Cardiff.

With Saturday's home advantage, they will be looking to turn their fortunes around with the threat of strikes now averted.

England have had a slightly better start to the campaign but were beaten 29-23 by Scotland in their opening game, but turned things around with a 32-14 win over Italy.