Rugby: Wales 'target' people, England must be ready - defence coach


  • Rugby
  • Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup - England Training - Fuchu Asahi Football Park, Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan - October 29, 2019. England's Ben Spencer talks defence coach John Mitchell during training. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) - England defence coach John Mitchell expects Wales to do all they can to distract and disrupt the visitors in Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup match in Llanelli and says his players must be wary of provocation.

"It is really no surprise to anyone, they have always had a crack at Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell ... I also think they went hard at Kyle Sinckler a couple of times we've been down there," Mitchell told reporters.

Sinckler gave away two penalties in their 2019 Six Nations encounter, the second for a dispute on the touchline, as Wales won 21-13 in Cardiff before going on to win the Grand Slam.

"They clearly target people," Mitchell added. "They look to create individual distractions and then try to take away some of the key components to our ways of creating pressure.

"Ultimately a better way to sum it up is that they try to make you uncomfortable, which is what we try to do to them as well. We're looking forward to whatever they throw at us."

England prop Joe Marler is back in the 25-man squad after serving a 10-week ban for grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in the groin area during the Six Nations earlier this year.

England are top of Group A after wins over Georgia and Ireland while Wales are third. The tournament replaces the November tests after the international schedule was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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