Josh Navidi calls on Wales to maintain momentum ahead of England clash

Josh Navidi has urged Wales to keep their momentum going as they head towards a crunch Guinness Six Nations clash against England.

Wales face their fiercest rivals in 13 days’ time on the back of equalling a winning run that has stood for 109 years.

While Saturday’s 26-15 victory over Italy in Rome proved an often laboured stop-start affair, a much-changed Wales team ultimately got the job done.

Tries by wing Josh Adams and centre Owen Watkin, plus fly-half Dan Biggar’s accurate goalkicking, saw Wales post an 11th successive victory stretching back to last season’s tournament.

While England will pose an altogether tougher examination – they have beaten Wales five times on the bounce in Six Nations action – Navidi and company know they can make history and stay on a Grand Slam course by winning at the Principality Stadium.

“The England game is going to get hyped up a lot, but we need to just focus on ourselves,” Wales number eight Navidi said.

“We were disappointed with the performance (against Italy), but a win is a win.

“We know that we have got a lot of things to work on to be prepared for England.

“We know where we are at, and now we’ve got a big couple of weeks to build into the England game. We need to improve and keep the momentum going.”

Wales head coach Warren Gatland made 10 changes for the Stadio Olimpico encounter, handing Six Nations debuts to Leicester wing Jonah Holmes and Wasps flanker Thomas Young, while scrum-half Aled Davies and back-row forward Aaron Wainwright made first Six Nations starts.

Warren Gatland is convinced he got his selection right (Steven Paston/PA)

And he has no doubt it was the right selection path to follow, having taken 31 players on last week’s training camp in Nice at the start of World Cup year.

Gatland said: “For us, there is a bigger picture that we were looking at for the first two games (against France and Italy).

“That was having the opportunity to get away for a week with a squad of 31 and replicating what might happen at the World Cup.

“If this was a normal year, on reflection, maybe we wouldn’t have made so many changes, but we wanted to give everyone in the 31 an opportunity to be involved in the first two games.”

There will definitely be no lack of motivation in trying to beat England and break that record.

Gatland will hope to have a full selection hand available for England when Wales target breaking the record of 11 victories set between 1907 and 1910. On that occasion, it was ended by England.

“We didn’t speak about the record at all this week, but we will probably talk about it before England,” Gatland added.

“If this group of players achieve that, it will be something nobody can take away from them.

“We’ve got a chance, we are at home, the stadium will be full, it will be some atmosphere at the Principality Stadium.

“There will definitely be no lack of motivation in trying to beat England and break that record.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Rob Kearney faces big decision over future

Chris Ashton ruled out of England’s crunch Six Nations clash with Wales

Fear of regret fired Andy Farrell to Ireland hotseat

Andy Farrell insists Ireland are 'in a good place'

More in this Section

Chris Ashton ruled out of England’s crunch Six Nations clash with Wales

Sean O’Shea's goals key as UCC earn spot in Sigerson Cup final

All-Ireland champions make it three from three with impressive win over Cats

Injury time point gives Wexford win over 14-man Tipp


Outside the box: A tale of two Calais and suffering beyond reason

Opening Lines: I feel sorry for the dogs. Even they have a sense of shame about having to poo in public

New TV show highlights lack of cycle lanes in Ireland in comparison to rest of Europe

Online Lives: Creator of popular health and lifestyle blog Sarah Dwan

More From The Irish Examiner