England coach Steve Borthwick wary of Wales game-plan under Rob Howley
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 10/02/17 1:42pm
England forwards coach Steve Borthwick has warned that they must be ready for two potential styles of rugby when facing Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Under current British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, Wales became synonymous with a 'Warrenball' approach to rugby which involved repeated carries by large forwards and backs such as Jamie Roberts, bashing at the opposition defences until they gave way.
Such an approach saw Wales win two Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012 under Gatland, along with a further Six Nations title in 2013 with Howley in temporary charge.
With Gatland now in charge of the Lions again and Howley back at the Wales helm, the team have threatened to play more loosely.
Despite the apparent change, Borthwick has claimed that England must be ready to face both styles at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, with the possibility of Howley's side reverting to former tactics.
"Wales do appear to be altering their style of play slightly, that's what the evidence seems to show," said Borthwick.
"But we won't know for sure what to expect until we see it on the pitch. Players need to be able to adapt because of that.
"Against us they might do something different, they might do something in a different way, so we'll have to be ready to adapt. But under Howley they do seem to be altering their style slightly.
"It's always possible they could revert back, or they could advance and bring something different that we haven't seen yet, so that's why he have to be able to adapt.
"That's why we need a team of leaders - so that we can recognise these things and make decisions accordingly."
All 10 games of the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand will be shown live on Sky Sports, starting June 3 2017.