- Chris Robshaw says England must “cut Wales at source”
- It’s our responsibility to cope with Wales' physicality says England captain
England captain Chris Robshaw believes that to come out on top this weekend, England must avoid an “arm-wrestling match” with Wales and prevent the World Cup semi-finalists getting quick ball to their backline.
Robshaw will win his fourth cap when he leads his country out at a sold-out Twickenham on Saturday and the Harlequins flanker is prepared for a “fierce contest” as Wales seek to wrap up the Triple Crown and England look to continue their unbeaten record in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
Wales boast a physically imposing back division with young wings George North and Alex Cuthbert each weighing 229lb and standing at 6’4” and 6’6” respectively.
But speaking pitchside at Twickenham after his captain’s run on Friday, Robshaw told RFUtv: “We are fully aware of their physicality and their fitness regime and it’s up to myself and the other forwards to try and stop that and also the backs as well.
“We need to not get into an arm-wrestling match with them and just cut them at source. But it’s one of these things where we are looking forward to the challenge ahead. It’s different to what we faced in our last two games and it’s just a massive opportunity for us at home and we want to make the most of it.”
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Wales can also call on a powerful and dynamic back row in Dan Lydiate, Toby Faletau and captain Sam Warburton who Robshaw praised for his work ethic.
“He’s a great player who has shown what he can do at the World Cup and previously and he has taken his opportunities and he leads Wales by example,” the 25-year-old said.
“He goes out there and puts his body on the line and I think he’s got a good team behind him who want to come here and play a bit of rugby tomorrow and I’m sure it will be a fierce contest.”
The England squad has spoken much in the build up to the clash with Wales about improving their attacking performance and two narrow wins away to Scotland and Italy with their only tries of the tournament coming from two Charlie Hodgson charge-downs.
But a proud Robshaw, who is relishing the prospect of leading England out in front of a home crowd for the first time in his career, is confident in his young team’s ability to step up at Twickenham.
He added: “We know that our first two games weren’t pretty [but] we won and that was the most important thing for us at the time.
“The last week and a half or so we have been working on our performance so hopefully our attacking rugby has gone up another level now and hopefully we can show that tomorrow and score a couple of tries.”