Wales scrum-half Davies hunting more happy Twickenham memories

Tricia Pearson
February 9, 2018

Eddie Jones has piled the pressure on inexperienced Wales fly-half Rhys Patchell by unleashing Jonathan Joseph for this Saturday's Six Nations encounter with England, with the reigning champions ready to capitalise on any nerves hiding inside the Scarlets youngster.

Patchell is 24 years old, he is in his first Six Nations Championship, he has never played at Twickenham and, before last Saturday, he had never started an global at fly half. "We've been on the same page and we were quietly confident going into the Scotland game, then we produced the goods", said Davies, who is starting in the absence of the injured Rhys Webb. "It's whether he has the bottle to handle it", Jones told a news conference.

"We were very happy with Te'o last week, but it's also his second game back and, in my experience with players in their second game back from a long injury, it's always the most hard game".

"I can remember 18 or 24 months ago someone at the Rugby Football Union, whose name I don't recollect at the moment, coming in and saying 'you play Italy on Sunday and Wales on Saturday, it that ok?'".

Care came off the bench to play in the rest of the match.

"Wales have to get the ball wide and Patchell hasn't played much Test match rugby".

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"Now they have expectation, and they have to cope with that. He's got to find guys around him to help him because he's going to be under some heat".

In the only other change to the starting XV, Jonathan Joseph comes in for Ben Te'o at outside centre.

On the Joseph decision, Jones added: "It's just my gut feeling with Joseph". I really hope World Rugby don't allow that to creep into the game. "And in my experience with players in their second game back from a long injury, it's always the most hard game".

World Cup victor Robinson believes the visitors - who have named 10 Scarlets players in an unchanged starting XV - will give Eddie Jones' side plenty to think about, but he expects England to put up a sterner defence than Scotland could muster. It was also the year Wales last won the Grand Slam but after emphatically beating Scotland last weekend they head to Twickenham in buoyant mood. Everyone has been telling them how well they played.

Gatland, addressing the media in the build-up to Saturday's England and Wales 6 Nations Test, described the South African series "the easiest of the three" and said he would expect a Jones led Lions squad to clean sweep the Springboks.

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