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Will Morgan’s England decision come back to haunt Wales?

| 09.03.2014

England will have to re-write the recent history of Anglo-Welsh clashes if they are to overcome Wales and keep alive their dream of winning a first Six Nations Championship since 2011.

With the Grand Slam on the line last season Wales swept to a powerful 30-3 win at the Millennium Stadium on their way to a second straight championship win leaving England scratching their heads as to how they overcome Warren Gatland’s side.

On their last visit to Twickenham the Welsh, led by the boot of Leigh Halfpenny and a Shane Williams try, picked up their 20th Triple Crown on their way to yet another championship win.

You have to go back to 2011 for England’s last Six Nations win over Wales but with the Triple Crown on the line England, who are 4/7 for victory, will be determined for revenge.

Another win for the visitors in west London is on at 6/4, while the draw is priced at 18/1.

Trying to help England lift the Triple Crown for the first time since the glory days of Clive Woodward’s World Cup winning side is Gloucester forward Ben Morgan.

The powerful number eight comes into Stuart Lancaster’s starting XV in place of the injured Billy Vunipola and takes on the country he could have represented.

Born and raised in Bristol, the 25-year-old qualified to represent Wales on the three-year residency rule but he opted to wear the Red Rose and he is an interesting 22/1 to open the scoring at Twickenham and 13/2 to score a try anytime.

For Wales the obvious dangers to England come out wide where George North and Alex Cuthbert lie in wait.

The former opened the scoring against Lancaster’s men last season and is 9/1 with the bookmaker to do so again, while North, all be it from centre, scored the first try against France last time out and is a 10/1 shot to repeat the trick.


England XV: M Brown (Harlequins); J Nowell (Exeter), L Burrell (Northampton), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester), J May (Gloucester); O Farrell (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Gloucester).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), M Vunipola (Saracens), H Thomas (Sale), D Attwood (Bath), T Johnson (Exeter), L Dickson (Northampton), G Ford (Bath), A Goode (Saracens).

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Blues); Alex Cuthbert (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton); Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

Venue: Twickenham

Kick-off: Sunday 9th March,  3pm

Television: BBC1

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew