Ken Owens says Wales squad won't be drawn into England pre-match hype
Last Updated: 16/02/19 11:40pm
Wales hooker Ken Owen says they will detach themselves from the "fun" and "hype" ahead of Saturday's Six Nations meeting with England.
Eddie Jones started the mind games by describing Wales as "the greatest Welsh side ever" after his England side backed up their win against Ireland in Dublin with an emphatic home victory against France.
The England head coach also claimed the Principality Stadium "has never been a fortress for me" as the two remaining unbeaten sides prepare to meet in Cardiff, but Owens says he has heard it all before.
"Perhaps early on in my career, you would get caught up in the hype. My first start for Wales was at Twickenham, which was a huge experience," Owens, who was part of Wales' 2012 Grand Slam campaign, said.
"But probably the more experienced you get, you just need to concentrate on what the important thing is, and that's the 80 minutes on the Saturday and delivering what you can control and controlling those controllables.
We have had two wins on the road, but we need to get better. If we don't, and England come down and play as they have in the last two games, they will teach us a lesson.
"I think as you get older, you sort of do detach yourself from it and do what you need to do to be right on Saturday.
"It is all a bit of fun with what is going on, but we know the job in hand and where we need to improve.
"We have had two wins on the road (against France and Italy), but we need to get better. If we don't, and England come down and play as they have in the last two games, they will teach us a lesson.
"They are a quality team, but so are we. The top two teams in the Six Nations, currently, will be going at it to maintain an unbeaten record."
England have won their last five matches against Wales in the Six Nations, but Wales have reason to be optimistic as they seek to secure a record 12th game unbeaten - a run stretching back to February last year.
Owens, who says there is no talk of looking to eclipse a mark set between 1907 and 1910, added: "There is no point talking about it until you've done it. The boys are pretty grounded.
"They are just taking it week by week, which is probably a bit boring, but we just talk about the next game, what we need to do to get the result and keep building momentum.
"I think we will be judged by our results in years to come when people start comparing this generation to the 70s, the 90s, whatever.
"All we can control is week-to-week matches, and keep winning. If we do that, then hopefully we will be remembered as not a bad side."
Both sides have impressed so far in their respective campaigns and Owens says whichever side controls their emotion on the field could well stand the best chance of success.
"It's about imposing ourselves on England and keep asking questions of them, as I am sure they will be looking to ask questions of us. It's about just getting stuck into them, really," Owens said.
"These home games are won on emotion too, and it's about how you control that. I think the coaches have been spot-on with how they've handled that over the years.
"Training will be a little bit tasty, which it needs to be with what is coming up. You just build it up, and come Saturday, you can let it all out."