Gatland: ‘Title will go to Saturday’s winner’

Date published: March 9 2016

Warren Gatland expects the winner of Saturday's meeting at Twickenham between England and Wales to go on and win the Six Nations. 

England, in first place with six points, and Wales in second with five points go head-to-head knowing that Saturday's result will be pivotal when it comes to the outcome of the tournament.

The following week England travel to Paris to take on France, while Wales are at home to currently winless Italy.

Gatland has made no changes to his starting XV but has added Paul James, Luke Charteris and Rhys Webb, recovered from injury after missing the Rugby World Cup, to his bench.

"It was pretty straightforward — there was not much discussion at all about selection. As a team, we are in a pretty good place," Gatland told reporters.

"We've not spoken about the World Cup and what happened there. It was a great performance to get out of the group, but we feel in much better shape than at the World Cup.

"The guys are training well, and we are treating Saturday like a final. They [England] are a good side. They have a lot of strength in depth, and young players continuing to improve.

"It will be one heck of a game on Saturday, and whoever wins, probably wins the Six Nations."

Gatland is also preparing to go up against Eddie Jones for the first time since the Australia took charge of England late last year, with the Wales boss speaking highly on his new adversary.

"Eddie has brought a bit of an edge. What he has done is just expressed himself and said what he thinks," he added.

"He has been honest and opinionated, and I think that's been great for the game. It sounds like the [England] players are really enjoying the environment and thriving on that.

"I get on with Eddie well. He's been great. He has been refreshing and he has been honest.

"When he does say something out of turn, it is important you guys [the media] don't jump on him, otherwise he will clam up and stay quiet.

"Give him the licence to speak his mind and say what he wants to say, without actually analysing everything or making headlines out of things."