Edwards impressed by England's youth

Date published: February 26 2014

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has praised the impact made by England's inexperienced backs so far in the Six Nations.

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has praised the impact made by England's inexperienced backs so far in the Six Nations.

Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Luther Burrell have all settled in well to Test rugby after making their first Six Nations appearances in Paris at the beginning of February.

Burrell has come in due to the absence of Manu Tuilagi, with May and Nowell getting the nod because of injuries to Marland Yarde, Christian Wade and Ben Foden.

“They've been absolutely fantastic, considering their youth,” said Edwards.

“The coaches deserve a pat on the back for bringing in so many quite inexperienced young lads who haven't played a lot of Test matches, and they've played so well.

“Both the players and the coaches need to have a pat on the back for that – the coaches for having the guts to pick them as well, like Warren has done in the past, with picking young players.”

Wales remain in the hunt for a third Six Nations title after bouncing back and correcting their points difference with a 27-6 win over France.

England are the bookies' favourites to win at Twickenham next Sunday, but Edwards believes Wales have enough experience with two titles under their belts and a handful of players over 30 to handle the occasion.

“I think it's experience,” added Edwards.

“We've got a few over-30s, but we have also got a lot of young lads who have had a lot of experience, like losing a World Cup semi-final in quite controversial circumstances and then fighting back (a few months later) and winning a Grand Slam.

“We've had a varying degree of experiences together, and I think that helps when you go to away grounds, which can be hostile.

“We respect our opponents, we are also aware they (England) are the favourites going into this game and we are also aware that the whole of England expects them to come away with a Triple Crown, so there is a lot of pressure on them as well.

“This year's Six Nations shows that one game doesn't have much of an effect on the next one. Look at how the results have shifted. What is important is momentum shifts in the game itself.

“Everyone is aware of what happened last year. Things went our way on that day and we happily accepted the championship, but this year has been a prime example – England lose against France, then they beat Ireland; Ireland hammered us, then we did a good job on France.

“We just try to play to a level of intensity every time we play, whether it's against England, Scotland or Ireland. We let ourselves down against Ireland (Wales lost 26-3) and didn't reach that level of intensity. We were beaten on the day by a better team.

“We try to be consistent with our levels of intensity because it's no good being fantastic one game and the next game average. That is not what we expect of our players, and they don't expect that of themselves.”