Scrum-half Ben Youngs expects England to face the full force of Warren Gatland’s Wales when the two sides do battle at Twickenham in a likely Six Nations title decider next month.
England are the sole team capable of winning the Gram Slam following a comprehensive 21-10 victory over defending champions Ireland on Saturday, coupled with France’s 19-10 defeat to Wales in Cardiff on Friday evening.
Should England beat Wales, who still have to face winless Italy, on 12 March and France come unstuck against Scotland at Murrayfield, Eddie Jones’s men will win the championship, their first since 2011, with a match to spare.
“Wales are consistently a good team in this tournament. Traditionally they get better as the tournament goes on,” said Leicester No9 Youngs. “Their coaching staff have been together for a number of years now and likewise their players.
“We’ve got a bit of catching up to do over the next two weeks, but we’re at home and we’re looking forward to an almighty game.”
Victory for England would also avenge their World Cup defeat to Wales at Twickenham in September, and leave only a showdown with France in Paris standing in between the Red Rose and a first Grand Slam since 2003.
“I’ll worry about the Grand Slam when the whistle has gone after the final game, but we’re in a good place, there’s no denying that. We’re three from three and right where we want to be,” added Youngs.
“There are areas we need to get better at, speed at getting to the breakdown and getting rid of bodies but there is nothing we don’t feel we can fix for Wales.”