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Anthony Watson names David Lemi his most formidable opponent

Published 08/03/2016

England wing Anthony Watson says David Lemi has been his most formidable opponent
England wing Anthony Watson says David Lemi has been his most formidable opponent

Anthony Watson may be preparing to face Wales' giant wings once more, but it was the less imposing figure of David Lemi who has proved to be his most formidable adversary.

Watson will line-up opposite Alex Cuthbert in Saturday's likely RBS 6 Nations title decider with George North occupying the opposite flank when Warren Gatland's men visit Twickenham.

Between them, Cuthbert and North have a combined height of almost four metres and weigh a total of 203kgs, making them substantially bigger than England duo Watson and Jack Nowell.

However, for all the size of the Wales pair, it was through facing the diminutive Lemi when the Samoa wing was at Worcester that taught Watson the most.

"You have to play against all shapes and sizes in rugby. In the World Cup I played against (Fiji's) Nemani Nadolo, who was a big guy," Watson said.

"This is rugby and you have to be prepared for whoever you come up against - big, small, fast.

"I don't have a preference for what type of winger I face, but one of my toughest opponents was David Lemi.

"When I played against him when I was young, he was very hard because of his footwork.

"After struggling against him the first time, I played against him again and had a learnt a lot. It was great to play against a winger like that."

England have been muted in their build-up to Saturday's pivotal clash with Wales, who start as underdogs, and Watson has kept to the party of line of revealing nothing.

"I don't want to talk too much about Wales, we're very much concentrating on ourselves," the Bath wing said.

"We want to impose ourselves on the game and show how we can improve this week, to put on a better performance than we did against Ireland.

"Towards the end of the week we'll do more analysis on the opposition, but we're concentrating on our attacking principles.

"This game is important for us because it's the next game. It's a big game and if you ask me on Friday or Saturday I'll be excited, but for now I'm just concentrating on training."

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