LONDON (Reuters) – England’s players must be prepared to brave a cauldron of hate when they take on Wales in what could be a decisive Six Nations battle in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday.
Few occasions stir Welsh passion more than a visit from the England rugby team and this week’s clash has the added ingredient of both teams beginning with 100 percent records.
England scrum-half Danny Care will not be involved this Saturday but knows what Eddie Jones’s team can expect.
“You are hated there,” Care told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast. “Some of the fans genuinely hate you. They want to make it miserable, make the atmosphere intimidating and hostile.
“The hype is exactly what you’ve heard. It’s an unbelievable place to play. The drive to the stadium goes through the middle of Cardiff and the stories of people swearing at you are true — it happens.”
Wales have won their past eight home matches and victory over an in-form England side would set a new national record of 12 successive victories in tests.
An England win, meanwhile, would make them odds-on favourites to take the title and complete a Grand Slam.
Wales centre Jamie Roberts said his team mates will be licking their lips at the prospect of derailing England.
“The Welsh are obsessed by rugby and nothing whets the appetite more than Wales v England,” he said.
“You grow up watching that match, respecting the great players and victories down the years and want to have a part in it. The effect it has on the country if we win is unbelievable.”
England hooker Jamie George was part of the England team that grabbed a dramatic victory in Cardiff in 2017 thanks to a late Elliot Daly score and remembers the experience fondly.
“It’s an amazing fixture. It’s the game most people get excited about come Six Nations time, especially when it’s in Cardiff,” he told the RFU website.
“We know how good they are currently, so it is going to be a big one.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by David Goodman)