February 25, 2018

Jones piles pressure on 'third-choice' Patchell

09 February 2018, 01:42 | Pamela Mathis

England's Eddie Jones Goes On The Attack Against Wales Captain Ahead Of Twickenham Showdown

England will look to use Jonathan Joseph to unsettle Rhys Patchell

Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Cymru.

England have made two changes to their side as they prepare to welcome Wales to Twickenham for Saturday's crunch NatWest Six Nations clash.

Spectators at Twickenham have have often been accused of lacking the passion commonplace at other Six Nations venues but former Australia and Japan coach Jones expects a capacity crowd to be roaring England on this weekend.

He's a young guy, he's inexperienced and is their third-choice 10.

"The pressure on him [Patchell] is going to be enormous".

"England, when you look at the likes of [Joe] Launchbury and [Maro] Itoje, [Chris] Robshaw, [Courtney] Lawes; we've got a lot of players who will certainly compete heavily and not give Wales as much time and space on the ball". He will have to find guys around him to help because he'll be under some heat.

Wales pride themselves on their fitness, an area where before the tournament Jones highlighted the need for improvement. So we will see how they deal with Twickenham and how they deal with us.

"It's easy to play when the ball is on the front foot and going from side to side", Jones said.

The selection of Joseph over Te'o was predicted by Wales coach Warren Gatland earlier this week and sees England restored to their strongest available starting XV. Wales has refused to be drawn out by Jones, stating anyone wearing the number 10 jersey expects to be under pressure.

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"Patchell is surrounded by a number of players from his own region [Scarlets] and that familiarity under the pressure of worldwide rugby hopefully it [his game] will stand up".

Warren Gatland's side were considered underdogs by some before the match with Scotland, but produced a resounding performance to batter the Scots 34-7.

Yes, they were missing some key players, especially in the front row, but the Scots will be sorely disappointed in the way they played. Their centres though showed some good skill and pace, and the two tries they scored should be celebrated.

"Listen, he's obviously got a few things to get off his chest and hopefully he'll feel better for it". He was armed with three second rows in Rome with Courtney Lawes playing on the blindside but Wales have a tall six in Aaron Shingler and their captain, Alun Wyn Jones, got to know the England forwards coach, Steve Borthwick, on the Lions tour to New Zealand a year ago. Jonathan's got great experience, he's fast, a great defensive player. "Now they have expectation, and they have to cope with that expectation", Jones told BBC Sport.

World Cup victor Robinson believes the visitor - which has named 10 Scarlets players in an unchanged starting XV - will give Eddie Jones' side plenty to think about, but he expects England to put up a sterner defence than Scotland could muster.

"He's been magnificent mate, truly professional", said Jones of Wigglesworth.

It is the first time Jones has sought to engage Wales in verbal hostilities ahead of the eagerly awaited showdown between rivals who completed convincing victories in round one.

"We relish that. We don't care if we are favourites or underdogs".

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