WALES have won their first two games in the Six Nations Championship and on Saturday, February 27, they put that record on the line against great rivals England.
Having already beaten Ireland and Scotland, the Triple Crown will be on the line for Wales, a feat they last achieved in 2019 when they won the Grand Slam.
That will be incentive enough for Wayne Pivac’s men but to do it against England will make it that little bit sweeter.
With France’s game against Scotland on Sunday in doubt, it will also give the home side a great chance to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Wales do not have any fresh injury concerns going into the England game and it will likely provide a selection headache for Pivac.
George North could be set to make his 100th appearance for Wales if he plays against England, and is currently second in the list of all-time try scorers for his home country.
England lost their opening game of the tournament against Scotland but got back to winning ways with a resounding 41-18 win over Italy.
The 2020 Six Nations and Autumn Cup Champions will be eager to rediscover their winning form which brought them that success but they will not find it easy against Wales.
What happened the last time England visited the Principality Stadium?
Wales last welcomed England to the Principality on February 23, 2019, and it was a game which saw Wales earn a 21-13 victory.
Cory Hill and Josh Adams scored Wales’ tries in that match while Dan Biggar and Gareth Anscombe added the rest of the points from the boot.
Tom Curry scored England’s only try in that match while Farrell had a 100% success rate with his kicks.
What happened when the sides met in 2020?
It was an absolute classic last year with England triumphing by 33 points to 30 at Twickenham.
Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly and Manu Tuilagi got the tries for England on that day while Owen Farrell had again had a 100% record with the boot.
Justin Tipuric bagged two tries for Wales while Dan Biggar scored their other as the men in red came up short on this occasion.
Of course, the last two meetings between the two sides were played in front of capacity crowds but that will not be a factor this time around, owing to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Could that be a factor in the game or will both sides treat us to an excellent display of rugby?
After the England game, Wales travel to Italy on Saturday, March 13, while England will host France on the same day.
A win for either side this weekend will be crucial; a win for Wales and it sets them up for the Grand Slam while a win for England will reignite their hopes of retaining the Six Nations Championship.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 16:45 and can be seen on S4C as well as the BBC.
Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, George Martin, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, Max Malins.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Botham, Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy, Uilisi Halaholo.
Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched
INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.
Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.
In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.
Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds. Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales. We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.
Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.
We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.
Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”
Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”
Cardigan man accused of murder in court
A CARDIGAN man who is accused of stabbing a man to death has appeared in court today (Jul 28).
Ashley Keegan, 22, of Golwyg y Castell, Cardigan, appeared before court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.
Swansea crown court heard how Keegan is accused of stabbing 37-year-old John Williams Bell seven times in the back.
Mr Bell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday Morning, July 21, on the road to Cardigan Bridge.
The court set a provisional trial date for January 3, 2022.
Keegan will remain remanded into custody until the trial.
Suspected drink driver tracked for two miles by police dog
A SUSPECTED drink driver was arrested after a police dog tracked him for two miles along a cycle path.
Dyfed-Powys Police dog Storm and his handler PC Mike Barnsley located the driver following a collision between Bont and Tregaron on Sunday, July 25.
Officers had attended the scene of the collision, discovering that a car had hit a tree and overturned – however, the driver was not present.
PC Barnsley said: “There were concerns that the driver could have been injured due to the significant damage to the car, so a search was immediately launched to find them.
“With PD Storm, I focussed on the cycle path running alongside the road, where Storm picked up a track and followed it for around two miles.
“Local response units accessed the cycle path ahead of us, while another unit searched from the main road along an unclassified road in the same direction.”
PC Barnsley and Storm reported a sighting of a man on the cycle path, and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Sergeant David Hawksworth said: “This was an excellent demonstration of teamwork and coordination by officers, whose good local knowledge resulted in the suspect being swiftly found and arrested.”
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