‘If you beat England, it’s an easier trip to the Co-op to buy your milk!’: Former Wales captain Sam Warburton has fond memories of Twickenham glory
- The Welsh legend is now part of Wayne Pivac’s back-room team
- Warburton has called on players to make themselves heroes at Twickenham
- He is no stranger to the white-hot atmosphere of the cross-border clash
- Warburton won twice at Twickenham – in 2012 and at the 2015 World Cup
Sam Warburton may have seen the Wales-England rivalry become friendlier in recent years but he called on his players to make themselves heroes at Twickenham on Saturday.
The two-time Lions captain and Welsh legend who won 74 caps for his country and led them for six years is now part of Wayne Pivac’s back-room team.
And he is no stranger to the white-hot atmosphere of this weekend’s cross-border clash.
Wales legend Sam Warburton is no stranger to the white-hot atmosphere of an England clash
Having won twice at Twickenham – in 2012 and at the 2015 World Cup – Warburton wants his squad to follow in his footsteps.
‘There are great memories going to Twickenham and hopefully we can replicate it,’ he said.
‘If the boys do get a win, for sure, it will be one of the highlights of their careers. It’s a fantastic place to go.
‘I always got on really well with the England boys on the Lions tour. I know that’s not what Welsh fans want to hear – they want to hear of a huge rivalry. But I really liked the English lads.
Wales will give influential Dan Biggar every chance to start at Twickenham on Saturday
‘Rather than the personal rivalries, the players get more energised over the history of the game and the occasion. That does mean a lot.
‘To represent Wales at Twickenham and get a win down there is massive and you know how much it means to the country.
‘It’s a much easier trip to the Co-op to get your milk because everyone is so happy.
‘As players we all know each other and follow each other on Instagram so the personal rivalry has gone, but the national rivalry is still there.
‘I remember in 2012 when we won, Ryan Jones said to me, Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau to enjoy it because away wins at Twickenham are rare.
Wales winger George North will seek specialist advice after a head-knock against France
I thought: “Ah don’t worry, we’ll come back and do this again”.But you learn it the hard way, it’s a very tough place to go.
‘I’ve always thought that it’s been my favourite place to play outside of our own stadium.
‘People who say Twickenham has a bad atmosphere have not been there.
‘It’s brilliant, particularly when the Welsh fans go down and it becomes a competition of who can be the loudest.’
Warburton also delivered positive injury updates on Dan Biggar, George North, Josh Navidi and Liam Williams who are all fit for the England game.
Biggar went off early for Northampton against Saracens on Saturday having hyper-extended his knee but Wales will give him every chance to start at Twickenham.
‘At this stage, we’re confident,’ said Warburton on the No 10.
‘I presume they would wait for a player like Dan. It puts our team selection on hold for a while because we have to wait to see how he turns up on Wednesday. He’s ticking all the boxes he needs to.’
North will seek specialist advice after a head-knock against France but is expected to play as are Williams – who has not featured since the World Cup where he damaged his ankle – and flanker Navidi who had hamstring trouble.
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