Flower: Wales ready for a good scrap

PA Sport
Ben Flower is anticipating a physical battle in Wrexham on Saturday

View photo

Ben Flower is anticipating a physical battle in Wrexham on Saturday

Wigan forward Ben Flower is warning England to prepare for some early fireworks when Wales host the tournament favourites in Saturday's second match of the autumn international series.

The Welsh were involved in a feisty affair when they opened the tournament with a 20-6 defeat by France in Lens last Saturday. Wigan front rower Gil Dudson was sin-binned early in the second half for a late tackle on France half-back William Barthau which sparked a free-for-all in which Flower was most prominent.

"That's part of rugby, to be honest," Flower said. "A good old scrap doesn't hurt anybody. We had a laugh and a joke with the French boys afterwards. There's nobody holding any grudges. It will be feisty again on Saturday and that's how we like it, a bit of rough and tumble."

The battle between Flower and Dudson and their Wigan team-mates Lee Mossop and Sean O'Loughlin could go a long way to determining the outcome as Wales go in search of their first win over England for 17 years.

"It will be good to play against Lee, I'm good mates with him," Flower said. "It will be a bit strange because I've never played against my club-mates before. When I was with Crusaders, they were mostly Welsh team-mates. It will be interesting to come up against the likes of Sean O'Loughlin, Lee Mossop, Josh Charnley and Sam Tomkins if he plays."

Wales might be spared the threat of Tomkins, who has scored seven tries in England's last two games against them but is struggling to overcome a knee injury.

The Welsh need to spring an upset if they are to reach the November 11 final but, win or lose, Flower is confident they are making progress on the road to the 2013 World Cup.

"There were definitely some great positives from the France game and the big thing for me was the way the young kids played," he said.

"But there are a few areas we really need to improve on and we've already started to work on them.

"It's going to be a massive ask again. We've got boys under 20 and some amateur players coming up against some of the best players in the world. But we're not going to be taking a backward step. We hope to give them a good run for their money. If we win, that will be great, but if not we're looking for a great performance and we'll build on that."

View comments (0)