Howley: ‘We must adapt fast’

Date published: February 4 2015

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has underlined that the key to Friday’s clash with England will be adapting to the intensity fast.

The two old foes kick off this year’s Six Nations in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, with the roof set to be open after England didn’t agree to Wales’ request to have it closed.

According to the IRB Laws and Regulations, both teams must agree on the roof being closed for it to happen.

As for the two sides, Howley believes England are far from weakened despite a number of absentees.

“It’s a good side,” said Howley.

“When you can call on four (British and Irish) Lions on the bench, England are probably the only side in world rugby that can call on that experience when they have injuries. It’s going to be a tough game.

“With any player going into their first Six Nations game, it’s their ability to get up to speed with the intensity.

“It’s frenetic and about making decisions under pressure. That’s a challenge for us on Friday night as well.

“We experienced a difficult time last year at Twickenham when we were well beaten by a very good England side. We expect that side will once again turn up at the Millennium Stadium.

“Home advantage has been key and will be key on Friday. We all talk about the cauldron, but that stadium is only as good as the players’ performance.

“We just need to concentrate on what we need to do. International rugby is about small margins and we need to get them right on Friday.

“We need to start well and if we do that, the crowd will have an influence.

“We’ve got a tried and tested side, but that tried and tested side was beaten last year. Forget about what happened in 2013, it’s about the now and performing in the present.”