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Wales fear English backs

2015-09-16 18:39

Cardiff - Wales have gone in-house to prepare for the threat of England's fleet-flooted backs in next week's Rugby World Cup Pool A showdown, defence coach Shaun Edwards said on Wednesday.

Edwards singled out England wingers Anthony Watson and Jonny May as well as outside centre Jonathan Joseph as players who would need to be carefully watched during the game at Twickenham on Sept. 26.

"England are a very potent attacking force," Edwards told reporters. "They have electric backs and play expansive rugby. It will be a huge challenge for us."

"(Number eight) Ben Morgan is an outstanding ball carrier, May and Watson have really quick feet and Jonathan Joseph is among the top three 13's in the world."

Wales have been preparing for the challenge by practicing tackling the fastest members of their own group.

"We have Matthew Morgan and Hallam Amos in our squad who have pretty quick feet and we have used them to emulate the threat of runners like Joseph and Watson," Edwards said.

"Everyone says it will be points that win this pool, but it could just be defence."

Edwards praised the performance of Wales flanker Dan Lydiate in last month's 16-10 warm-up win over Ireland in Dublin.

"I think he made 26 tackles, did not miss one and the last one was just incredible," he said of his try-saving effort in the final seconds.

"We have Justin Tipuric and Sam Warbuton as well and if your back row is functioning well as a unit you have a pretty good chance of defending well."

Wales start their campaign against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday and Edwards is trying to ensure his players have the right attitude against the weakest team in the pool.

"The biggest danger is their unpredictability," he said. "The players are not household names but it is very important that we don't under-estimate them."

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