With the 2019 Rugby World Cup just around the corner, England face Wales at Twickenham.
The home side is ready to add another win to their good recent record (W6, L2) against the reigning Six Nations champions.
England must recover the form quickly with only three games before they kick-off in Sapporo against Tonga on 22nd September.
The rivalry is the deepest in British rugby thanks to the Red Dragons re-emergence as a force to be reckoned with in the past decade. Who will emerge with the bragging rights?
England vs Wales Predictions
As the 2019 Six Nations unfolded, it became apparent that Wales’ 21 – 13 win over England was a decisive result.
It left Ireland as the only credible threat to Warren Gatland’s men, a force sunk when the Welsh emerged victorious when the two met.
Meanwhile, the English red rose wilted. The expected routing of Italy papered over the cracks.
Cracks Scotland turned into crevices as they fought back to draw 38 – 38 at Twickenham in the tournament’s final game.
England’s battered and bruised bodies dragged themselves off the hallowed turf to regroup for their four World Cup warm-up matches.
Eddie Jones men are odds-on favourites to win this fixture (4/5 with Novibet) which is surprising for a number of reasons.
Wales were imperious in lifting the Six Nations trophy, claiming the Grand Slam and Triple Crown with an unblemished record in their five games.
Also, the Welsh are ranked second in the world, compared to England’s fourth place. The odds are more generous than expected (11/10 with Novibet) in those circumstances.
The concern for Gatland, however, will be that Wales only recorded 10 tries during the Six Nations. To put it into context, that’s the same number as Italy who suffered their fourth consecutive whitewash.
Shaun Edwards defensive coaching is a defining factor in our England vs Wales predictions. While the Welsh are strong and disciplined, England are strong and prone to mistakes.
Those lapses will be meat and drink to Gareth Anscombe’s boot. His accuracy is unerring with 73 points (14 conversions, 15 penalties) in his 26 Wales appearances.
England coach Jones called up 33 players for the warm-up games so it leaves open the prospect of seats on the plane to Japan being up for grabs. None, however, are new faces; those who went to Treviso for the training camp are largely retained.
He made it clear that this is a pivotal time for his team. “We have worked hard,” Jones said earlier this week. “[We] now move into a four-game preparation phase where the development of the team tactically is paramount.”
Therein is the question over England. Has the fickleness which bedevilled them earlier this year been solved?
Wales are certain to ask that question; it’s up to the squad to provide the answer.
England vs Wales Head to Head
England lead the head-to-head with 62 wins to Wales 58, and 12 drawn. At home, it is more clear-cut; the English recorded 39 wins to 19, with 8 draws.
England are ahead in the last ten in south-west London, 7 – 3, but winning by single digits in three of the last four of those seven.
Wales last won at Twickenham in 2015, 28 – 25 in a World Cup pool match.
With this history, it comes as no surprise that our England vs Wales predictions point to a home win.
England Team News
England’s confirmed XV is:
Daly; McConnochie, Slade, Francis, Watson; Ford, Heinz; Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Cole, Launchbury, Ewels, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
Singleton, Marler, Williams, Kruis, Ludlam, Youngs, Marchant, Cokanasiga.
Wales Team News
Wales confirmed XV is:
L Williams; North, J Davies, Parkes, Adams; Anscombe, G Davies; Smith, Owens, Francis, Beard, Wyn Jones, Wainwright, Tipuric, Moriarty.
Confirmed replacements are:
Dee, W Jones, Lewis, Ball, Shingler, T Williams, Biggar, Watkin.
Alun Wyn-Jones becomes Wales most capped player, making his 135th appearance in a test match (126 for Wales, 9 for British and Irish Lions)
England vs Wales Betting Tips
England are favourites although the semi-experimental nature of Eddie Jones team is a risk.
Our England vs Wales predictions still, however, point to a home win with Jones’ squad having more to prove; World Cup places are up for grabs, more for the English than Welsh.
We think, however, that this is going to be a tight game.