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Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Gough prepared for England battle

Date: Saturday, 14 February Kick-off: 1730 GMTVenue: Millennium Stadium
Coverage: Live on BBC ONE, full commentary on BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website

Ian Gough
Gough is ready for a major physical battle up front

Wales lock Ian Gough says he is ready for a brutal encounter against England at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

"They're a powerful team, you know what you're going to get," said the 32-year-old Ospreys lock, who has 56 caps.

"You're going to get a battle, it's going to be blood and guts, it's going to be as hard as they come."

Victory would give Wales a hat-trick of Six Nations triumphs over England, who overcame Italy 36-11 last weekend, for the first time in their history.

Of the 117 encounters between the old rivals, Wales have won 52 times while England have been successful 53 times. There have been 12 draws.

Warren Gatland's Grand Slam champions opened their campaign with a 26-13 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.


Since Sunday's win, the Welsh have been further buoyed by the news that they have achieved their highest-ever world ranking.

Wales have leapfrogged Argentina into fourth in the International Rugby Board list, with England remaining in sixth spot.

New Zealand are top, followed by world champions South Africa and Australia.

England have called up flanker Joe Worsley and centre Mike Tindall for the daunting trip to Cardiff, while Wales have delayed team selection until Thursday.

That is to give Shane Williams, Ryan Jones, Gavin Henson and Jonathan Thomas extra time to recover from injury.

Mark Jones' progress following appendix surgery last month will be monitored, while Gareth Cooper looks unlikely to recover from a knee injury.

Ospreys wing Williams has urged caution on the wave of optimism sweeping through Welsh rugby.

Shane Williams scores against Scotland
You can never write off England

Wales wing Shane Williams

"[England] would be the first to admit they didn't play well against Italy, but they still won the game," he said.

"That is credit to them. They capitalised on a lot of mistakes by Italy.

"There are a lot of new faces there, but they are still a very good side and, make no bones about it, the game on Saturday is going to be very tough.

"We just need to prepare ourselves for a battle up-front, and a confrontational battle in the backs as well, because they have got some exciting players there. You can never write off England."

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see also
Williams battling to face England
09 Feb 09 |  Welsh
England call up Worsley & Tindall
10 Feb 09 |  English
Halfpenny seeks England revenge
10 Feb 09 |  Welsh
Ieuan Evans' column
10 Feb 09 |  Welsh
Gatland vows Wales will improve
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 13-26 Wales
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Roberts wary of Wales complacency
09 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales will be ferocious - Johnson
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
England 36-11 Italy
07 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions Watch
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Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
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