Gatland: Wales need to silence Twickenham early in England Six Nations clash

Gatland made seven changes to his side that had a disastrous first half against Scotland last weekend.

Wales will need to "silence" Twickenham early on in their Six Nations clash with England tomorrow (February 10), according to head coach Warren Gatland.

Preparations for the match after last week's heartbreak at the Principality Stadium haven't exactly gone to plan.

Gatland's men have been forced to train mostly indoors owing to the torrential downpours in a soggy week in south Wales.

He said: "We were going to go out today but the pitch is probably unusable at the moment. There was puddles of water everywhere.

"We can’t play Warrenball at the moment, whatever that is. I'm still trying to work out what Warrenball is. We need to find other ways of getting across the gain line."

Wales haven't beaten England on their home soil since 2015 but despite the troubled preparations ahead of the fixture, Gatland has told his players exactly what they need to do to cause some disruption.


Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...


He said: "For me personally [Twickenham] doesn't hold any trepidations. I think the factors for us will be seeing if we can start well.

"Stopping the crowd from singing 'Swing low sweet chariot' too early and too often and silence them a little bit."

Gatland made seven changes to his side that had a disastrous first half against Scotland last weekend.

Among those changes is young fly-half Ioan Lloyd who steps in for Sam Costellow after he went off injured on Saturday.

Amongst his successes, Gatland led Wales to a third Six Nations grand slam in 2019. Credit: PA

Wales' head coach is backing Lloyd to express himself on the Twickenham pitch, offering him a license to show what he's capable of.

Gatland said: "[Ioan Lloyd] is an instinctive player so we need to allow him that opportunity to express himself but it's also about him being smart.

"It's not about forcing it. It's not about going after things when there isn't those chances and it may take him 20 or 30 minutes before he gets an opportunity or a break.

"The worst thing you can do is try and make a gap that isn't there and get caught or turned over.

"So it's kind of like saying go out there, be instinctive and play yourself with having someone like Tomos Williams, Nick Tompkins or George North inside to give him some good communication and direction to make his job easy."

Wales' young captain had positives to take out of last weeks defeat at the hands of the Scots.

Despite an impressive comeback in the second half, the damage had already been done in the first leading to a an, ultimately narrow, loss.

Dafydd Jenkins said: "It's all about winning. We played well in the second half but we didn't win so it doesn't really mean anything.

"If I want to be here I need to be the best I can possibly be, in terms of competing with the best players in the world.

"But, mainly, like a lot of other people in the team I've learned that we can compete and that we're meant to be here so that'll be the main thing I take out of [the Scotland game]".


Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…