Warburton compares England to All Blacks

Date published: February 8 2017

Wales flanker Sam Warburton believes it is fair to compare England to New Zealand.

The 28-year-old played a key role as Wales kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 33-7 triumph over Italy in Rome.

Warburton is relishing the opportunity to take on England in front of a packed house.

“You can sense it and we know as players during the build-up to Wales-England games that’s the one the fans look forward to the most. I’m not going to hide from that fact. It will be a massive, massive game, a huge occasion for everyone involved in rugby and in Wales,” Warburton told the Walers website.

“But, as players, when you train extremely hard and make all the sacrifices, those are the type of fixtures you want to be involved in. You just love being in the cauldron of the Principality Stadium against a team like England. It will be an anxious team selection because you want to be involved.”

Warburton has won three of his last four matches against England in Cardiff. But it was the Red Rose who won the last RBS 6 Nations meeting between the sides at the Principality Stadium when tries from Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph, plus 11 points from the boot of George Ford earned a 21-16 triumph.

Wales are out to inflict a first defeat on England under Eddie Jones, and Warburton reckons they present a similar challenge to the fearsome All Blacks.

He said: “It’s always a massive Test, one of the toughest games you will play in regardless of what side they bring, as they proved two years ago. They had quite a few injuries but they still beat us so we know we have got to be extremely good to beat England.

“England are deservedly tagged as the best team in the northern hemisphere. It’s a fair judgement to compare them to the All Blacks right now – that’s how good they are. It’s going to take a huge game out of us to get a win out of that match and it will be one of the biggest games of the championship for sure.”