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Itoje absence confirmed for England's trip to Wales

24 February 2019

The 24-year-old Saracens lock sustained medial ligament damage during England's 32-20 win over Ireland in Dublin.

When asked if Itoje could recover in time to play a part this weekend, Mitchell said: "Definitely, he's certainly progressing really well".

"We are obviously very pleased to get the win", Wales coach Warren Gatland said.

"Right now, he's not fit for Saturday and I am not looking beyond that".

Wales then sealed victory with three minutes to go when Biggar's cross-kick was collected by Josh Adams, who was able to reach out and score.

Roberts, who has won three and lost three against England in Cardiff, says the team will look for inspiration from their passionate fans.

"I didn't know Warren had a degree in clinical psychology, so let me know and I might go and see him as well", Jones said.

Williams shied away from going that far but did concede that the depth in the set-up is as good as he can remember.

England do not plan to leave their base of Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey until after lunch and on the way to their accommodation at the St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay are likely to get caught up in the usual Friday M4 congestion, especially from the Severn Bridge (even without its tolls now) to the Brynglas Tunnels at Newport.

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Wales, though, are unbeaten for a year, winning their last 11 games to equal the national record set between 1907 and 1910.

"The people we had and the people who came on today stood up". It was a victory pumped up on the training fields with a game plan that nullified England's potent aerial threats and blistering pace, and answered with a game anchored on counter-punch and being as disruptive as possible.

"When I won Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008 I think we were a very good team but we weren't a flawless squad".

"They watched a play about Ray Gravell - I remember watching him play - a really good player".

Captain and totem Alun Wyn Jones called it "a nice day".

It would be a major surprise if the ace goalkicker, who did not play for the Scarlets against Benetton in the Pro14 last weekend, was to make his return to rugby in an global that could decide the destiny of the Six Nations title with both Wales and England having won their opening two matches. Somehow, Owen Farrell - the best No. 10 general in the world - was just as bad for England. The halves' relative lack of experience will be targeted by England, which has showed a ruthless intelligence in its two wins.

Some have doubted Gatland in the past and his ability to turn Wales into Six Nations contenders.

He is joined in an established Welsh pack by the double-figure tallies of prop Rob Evans (15), hooker Ken Owens (12) and flanker Justin Tipuric (16), while in the back division Jonathan Davies has 33 caps, George North 32 and Liam Williams 21. Josh Adams, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 9.

At that point, though, Dan Biggar took over.

Itoje absence confirmed for England's trip to Wales