Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Davies: Business as usual for Wales

Jonathan Davies expects Wales to handle the pressure of their crunch tie with England

Jonathan Davies insists it is a case of business as usual for Wales this week - despite the huge media hype surrounding Saturday's RBS 6 Nations title decider against England in Cardiff.

And the Scarlets centre has backed Wales' experiences of a Grand Slam game and World Cup semi-final last season to help keep things on an even keel. A seven-point victory for Wales should be enough to secure successive championship crowns - although a win by any margin or draw would thwart England's Grand Slam bid.

"It is just a normal week for us," Davies said.

"We have been involved in these big games before. Everyone will think this is more than a normal week, but we have the experience to draw on with the Grand Slam and the semi-finals of the World Cup. This group of players has been used to the big-game environment, so we know what to expect and we can just get our heads down."

Davies and company have turned around their Six Nations campaign following a demoralising opening weekend home defeat against Ireland through three successive away wins without conceding a try.

Victory in Paris last month ended a run of eight successive defeats, but Davies added: "We lost a lot of those games by small margins.

"There was some pressure put on the team by not performing, but we were confident in what we could achieve. We had not become a bad team overnight, and to go and win three games away from home was massive.

"We stayed close as a group and we knew we weren't far away from getting the results. Although there was pressure put on us, we just thrived on that. People wrote us off after the first game (against Ireland) and the boys were very pleased to come back with three away wins.

"We might look back a bit and look at the Ireland game and think 'what if', but we can't dwell on those things."

Wales boss Rob Howley will announce at least one change for England on Thursday following last Saturday's 28-18 success against Scotland at Murrayfield. Skipper Ryan Jones, sidelined by a broken bone in his shoulder, looks set to be replaced by Justin Tipuric in the back-row, with Sam Warburton wearing the number six shirt.

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