Winger Jack Nowell has stoked fires ahead of England's clash with title rivals Wales, describing their opposition's "hate" towards the English.

"We are playing against a team that hate you and want to beat you up in the game," said Nowell.

Previous five encounters

Winner      Score        Venue

Wales         30-3           Cardiff 
Wales         12-19         London
Wales         19-9           Cardiff 
England       23-19         London
England       19-26         Cardiff

England scrum-half Danny Care reinforced Nowell's comments by suggesting that Warren Gatland's team thoroughly disliked his own.

"You know when you play Wales that they don't like you, which you get used to as an England player. You relish that and look forward to the challenge," he said.

"Any time you play for England it's a great feeling, but with the Welsh you know they are coming for a battle. We are up for the challenge and looking forward to it."

 

Following England's crushing 30-3 defeat at the Millennium Stadium in last year's title decider, hooker Dylan Hartley is choosing to concentrate on the opposition's threats and not the thought of revenge.

Hartley keeping focused

"This is being hyped up as an emotional revenge game, but as a team we haven't talked about that," Hartley said.

"That day in Cardiff was the complete, all-round poor performance and we haven't seen anything like it since."

England will target Wales' key attacking weapons in back row Toby Faletau, hooker Richard Hibbard and inside centre Jamie Roberts if they are to prevent their opponents from gaining forward momentum.

"We obviously look at talismen in other teams, I prefer to call them targets. That's not a joke," he said.

"You respect them because they provide a lot of momentum, but if you make them a target, it changes that."

The two sides are level on four points in the table, and neither can afford to lose the game in order to remain title-contenders going into the final two rounds of matches.

Source: Al Jazeera