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Wales World Cup hero confident ahead of England clash

GARETH Davies made his name in Wales’ last encounter with England, so it’s no surprise that this weekend’s title decider with England holds no fear for him.

With Wales trailing at Twickenham in a vital World Cup pool match in September last year, Davies stepped up when his team needed him most to score the decisive try.

The match has gone down as one of Wales’ greatest victories, but Davies has been quick to brush off the victory and look ahead to Saturday.

“Last September was a great moment for myself and a great moment for Wales as a nation. Warren Gatland said himself it was one of the biggest victories in Welsh rugby history. But it doesn’t change anything for this week,” said Davies.

The Scarlets scrum-half believes that he’s now more ready to take on England in their own back yard than he was last year.

“The more international rugby you play the more you improve as a player. As a side we’re comfortable playing anywhere and against anyone. I think we proved that in the World Cup at Twickenham.”

With Wales naming an unchanged side from their victory over France last time out, attention has focussed on Rhys Webb’s inclusion on the bench after completing 80 minutes for Osprey’s in his comeback from injury.

Davies has been the first choice number nine since Webb’s injury and has impressed in both the World Cup and his recent six nations performances.

“Having Rhys back in the squad maybe adds a little more pressure for me – but I enjoy it. The more competition the better, it’s great to have Rhys back in the mix and it benefits the whole squad,” said Davies.

England are the only side who can complete the grand slam this season and Eddie Jones’ side have impressed so far in the campaign.

However, Davies isn’t too bothered about how England are shaping up, preferring to focus on his own side’s talents.

“We’ve got to start well. So far in this campaign we’ve started a bit slow in the opening 20 minutes. If we come out all guns blazing and play a nice high tempo game then we can come away with the win.

“England have got new management but we’re not looking too much at them. We’re just looking to get our own house in order. I don’t think it’ll be a particularly hostile atmosphere.”

Davies did, however, give his thoughts on England’s competing scrum-halves – Ben Youngs and Danny Care.

“To me it doesn’t make a difference which scrum-half lines up against me. They’re both great players but I think Danny is a bit more lively. Although I expect Ben Youngs to start – he really does run the game well for them. I’m really looking forward to the battle.”

With the title on the line, Davies is in no doubt that it’s the result that matters more than anything this weekend.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of matches against France last time out, but we came away with the win and the forwards played exceptionally well.

“It doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win. Confidence is a huge part of my game, and I just want to keep playing well.”

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