Owen Farrell: We'll feed off fiery atmosphere

Owen Farrell says England are relishing the prospect of a hostile Cardiff atmosphere as Steve Borthwick’s side seek to lay down pre-World Cup marker against Wales in crunch Six Nations clash

  • Wales host England on Saturday night in what is certain to be a feverish clash
  • Cardiff is braced for full-blooded encounter between the two great rivals
  • Captain Owen Farrell urged side to embrace the hostile atmosphere they face

Owen Farrell has urged his England players to embrace any hostility that comes their way in Cardiff after the Test was almost brought down by strike action.

England have not played in front of a crowd at the Principality Stadium since 2019 and the atmosphere is likely to simmer in today’s Six Nations clash.

Eleven of England’s matchday 23 have never played in the Welsh capital and their captain shared his experiences this week.

‘The way in is brilliant, you go straight through the centre of Cardiff and have a nice welcome,’ said Farrell.

‘It is brilliant, the bus goes straight through a whole load of people and disappears under the stadium. You would do well to fire them up even more.

Owen Farrell has urged his side to embrace the hostile atmosphere they will face in Cardiff

Farrell – himself a veteran of the brutal 2013 30-3 defeat – has experience his fair share of feverish atmosphere’s at the Principality Stadium

‘It’s fantastic. What do you think people grew up wanting to play in? People used to grow up playing in the back garden thinking they were playing in front of 75,000 people.

‘You didn’t grow up wanting to play in front of 10, did you? So let’s act like we’ve got that opportunity. Enjoy it. Love it. We want to do it, and enjoy it, and everything that comes with it. It’s not going to be all our way, for sure, but it’s brilliant.’

England’s players formed a series of huddles on the pitch in Cardiff during yesterday’s captain’s run to reaffirm their strategies for this afternoon.

Alex Dombrandt said that he was relishing the opportunity to play in such an exciting fixture

In what will be their first away game of the Steve Borthwick era, they are desperate to silence the sold-out crowd with a powerful start.

‘The atmosphere is going to be loud but these are the games you want to be involved in,’ said No 8 Alex Dombrandt. ‘They love their rugby. The whole city almost shuts down. Everyone goes to the stadium or the pubs around the stadium. I’m looking forward to it.

‘If we can have a good start and get on top early, you never know — the crowd might grow quiet. As a team we have to support each other.

‘The atmosphere is as loud as it can be when they’re on top. If the crowd are quiet or not as loud as they usually are, then it means you’re doing something right. So the more we can nullify their threats and be on top, you’d like to think maybe they’ll be a bit quieter.’

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