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Wales v England – 5 classic matches

Wales v England – 5 classic matches

Ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash on BBC One, discover why this rugby rivalry is so compelling

The Six Nations continues this weekend with an epic encounter from Cardiff…

Wales v England, Saturday 23 February, 4.15pm, BBC One HD (CH 101/108)

Got plans that don’t involve the Six Nations this Saturday evening? Cancel them, because Wales are playing England in an unmissable showdown at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, live on BBC One.


This fierce rivalry always delivers five-star sporting drama, and with both teams hoping to lay down a marker ahead of September’s Rugby World Cup, this weekend’s clash is expected to be more ferocious than ever. England have won their last four matches against Wales, but with a fiery home crowd behind them, Warren Gatland’s men will be eager to prove they’re genuine contenders for this year’s Six Nations crown.


These two teams have a history of playing out classic encounters whenever they butt heads, and Saturday’s clash is likely to be no different. To get you in the mood for this must-watch match, take a look at five memorable contests these countries have treated us to in recent years…

1. Wales 16-21 England (2017)

England winger Elliot Daly touching down against Wales

A Cardiff classic saw England snatch the win in the dying minutes to extend their then-unbeaten run to a whopping 17 games. The visitors couldn’t match Wales for aggression and intensity during the match, but they remained within touching distance thanks to the reliable left peg of Owen Farrell. Then, with the clock edging perilously closer to 80 minutes, England winger Elliot Daly touched down in the corner to seal a memorable triumph for the away side. “I think we’ve used all of our get-out-of-jail cards,” Eddie Jones told the BBC at the end of this thrilling contest.


2. Wales 28-25 England (2015)

Host nation England were poised to have a stormer at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. But the tournament ended up being an unmitigated disaster. A crucial match in Pool A saw Stuart Lancaster’s side succumb to a Wales team that not only overturned a ten-point deficit with 30 minutes left, but did so with a crocked set of players. This game will also be remembered for England captain Chris Robshaw’s decision to kick for the corner rather than the posts late on. A penalty would have earned the hosts a draw, but instead they fluffed their lines, lost the match and were dumped out of the tournament in their next game with a defeat to Australia. We told you it was a disaster.


3. England 19-26 Wales (2008)

Wales’ Mike Phillips scoring a try against England

Warren Gatland made himself an instant hero in Wales after guiding the team to an epic victory over England in his very first game in charge. What’s more, this was the first time that the Welsh had won at Twickenham in 20 years. The visitors were staring defeat in the face at half time after Jonny Wilkinson helped England move into an imposing 16-6 lead. But the kicking of James Hook and tries from Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips saw the visitors stage a rousing second-half comeback and claim the spoils.


4. Wales 11-9 England (2005)

The opening round of the 2005 Six Nations gave us a match that, although low on points, was significant in getting Wales back to the summit of European rugby after a decade-long wait. With just five minutes remaining, England led this tense encounter 9-8. However, an audacious 44-metre penalty from the mercurial Gavin Henson swung the tie back in Wales’ favour before the final whistle blew. Mike Ruddock’s team went on to win the tournament for the first time since it was rebranded as the Six Nations in 2000, completing the Grand Slam in the process. Wales were back.


5. England 28-17 Wales (2003)

Jonny Wilkinson kicks for England against Wales

Clive Woodward’s England team was expected to see off Wales in their 2003 Rugby World Cup quarter-final, but it wasn’t meant to be, as nerve-shredding as it turned out to be. England were 3-10 down soon after the break, before a comeback inspired by Jonny Wilkinson (who ended up kicking 23 of his side’s points) put the Red Rose into the last four. “We’re extremely relieved but it was about winning,” said Woodward after the game. Up next was France and, well, you know the rest…


This weekend’s live Six Nations fixtures on Virgin TV


France v Scotland
Saturday 23 February, 1.45pm, BBC One HD (CH 101/108)

Wales v England
Saturday 23 February, 4.15pm, BBC One HD (CH 101/108)

Italy v Ireland
Sunday 24 February, 2.15pm, ITV/HD (CH 103/113)

TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.

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