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Wales boss Gatland relishes "big game" against rivals England as he opts for Anscombe at flyhalf

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on February 21, 2019 - Duration: 00:43s

Wales boss Gatland relishes "big game" against rivals England as he opts for Anscombe at flyhalf

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says playing an in-form England side will be a "great challenge" when the two teams clash in the Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday.

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Wales boss Gatland relishes "big game" against rivals England as he opts for Anscombe at flyhalf

SHOWS: CARDIFF, WALES, UK (FEBRUARY 21, 2019) (BBC - NO USE UK) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WALES HEAD COACH, WARREN GATLAND, ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MATCH AGAINST ENGLAND, SAYING: "This has become a really big game, not so much for the Six Nations but I think a big game for both of us in terms of building forward the rest of the year, building for World Cup plans and preparations and for Japan." 2.

WHITE FLASH 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WALES HEAD COACH, WARREN GATLAND, ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MATCH AGAINST ENGLAND, SAYING: "We know it's going to be a great challenge, we're really excited about where we are and having this opportunity to play at home against a team that's really on form at the moment and you win this game on Saturday and I think it sets you up mentally as much as anything for building on for the remainder of the year." STORY: Wales boss Warren Gatland says he's relishing the "big game" against arch-rivals England who visit Cardiff on Saturday (February 21) in the Six Nations championship.

Gareth Anscombe was selected at flyhalf as Wales returned to full strength for the highly anticipated clash against an England side they haven't beaten in the competition since 2013.

Gatland named his strongest side for the clash between the two remaining unbeaten teams in this year's competition after fielding a second string side in their last outing, a 26-15 away victory over Italy just under a fortnight ago.

Anscombe was preferred to Dan Biggar, who had to go off after 20 minutes playing for Northampton against Sale Sharks in the English Premiership last Saturday, in the pivot position.

Biggar trained with Wales from Monday but his knee niggle is likely to have convinced Gatland to name his rival to start Saturday's game at the Principality Stadium.

Anscombe's half back partner at Cardiff Blues, Tomos Williams, was ruled out because of injury.

Leigh Halfpenny, who has not played since suffering concussion against Australia last November, will have to wait to make his return even though he trained with the squad this week.

Alun Wyn Jones will lead the team with Cory Hill preferred as his second row partner instead of Adam Beard, who was named among the replacements.

England have won on their past two Six Nations visits to Cardiff and are looking for a record sixth straight win over Wales in the competition.

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