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Biggar and North ‘given every opportunity’ to be fit for England game

Wales coach Rob Howley is under-fire after a poor autumn campaign thus far

Wales coach Rob Howley said that Dan Biggar and George North had been training this week

WALES head coach Rob Howley has given Dan Biggar and George North “every opportunity to be fit” for Saturday’s match against England.

Both players have been included in Wales’ starting 15, despite Biggar sustaining a blow to his ribs and North suffering bruising to his legs during last weekend’s win over Italy.

Howley said both players had been in training during the six-day run-up to week two of the Six Nations.

At a press conference earlier today, Howley said: “The boys did cryotherapy on Sunday evening. Those two players will be given every opportunity to be fit. They are two experienced players — they’re important for us.”

Howley also praised Sam Davies’ quality the previous weekend: “Sam is a fantastic player. He plays a bit differently but that’s the impact you want from your bench. Dan played particularly well first-half — two try-saving saving tackles.”

The Wales coach was keen not to underplay the challenge they face hosting England who remain unbeaten in their last 15 games.

“Their form says everything about England. You admire their strength and depth. You admire their strength and depth off the bench and the impact they made against France,” Howley said.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones spoke of the unique nature of a Wales v England match at the Principality Stadium, and the importance the crowd play in creating the atmosphere.

Jones said: “In the grand scheme of the competition it’s another game but obviously it means a lot to a lot of people.

“We [Wales and England] are able to share that and hopefully we can share it in a positive manner.

“I think we are very fortunate to have a stadium that is suitable or adds to the occasion.”

Jones also addressed the issue of the stadium roof.

“When it’s closed it’s obviously, not claustrophobic, but there’s no escape for anyone or anything and sometimes that’s a great place to be.

“Whether you’re an away team or a home team, I think it’s the sort of occasion you want to be involved in and I think we are very fortunate to have that ability to keep it closed or open.”

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