Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Croft relishing Welsh Six Nations challenge

Figure image
Tom Croft says England have the experience to handle the Saturday's Six Nations showdown with Wales.

England can secure a first Grand Slam in a decade with victory in Cardiff, while the Welsh can claim the Championship with a victory by seven points or more.

Croft will make his first start in an England shirt in 12 months after recovering from a serious neck injury and will win his 38th cap.

Leicester Tigers teammate Dan Cole will make his 40th international appearance and James Haskell (London Wasps) could win his 50th cap from the bench.

And Croft says that sort of international experience, added to the experience of playing in huge domestic and European club games, will hold England in good stead in the white-hot atmosphere of the Millennium Stadium.

“Players one to 15 all have experience,” Croft said. “Whether that’s international or not, the majority of these boys have been playing key roles at their clubs for many years now, playing huge Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup games. That’s experience enough.

“These guys have come through, proved themselves, closed up big games. A majority of these boys played against New Zealand in the autumn, one of the biggest wins for England for many-a-year.

“It’s about guys just focusing on their job in the team, if you can focus on your job we can pull together and hopefully get the result.

“We’ve got the strength and depth coming off the bench as well. Haskell is on 49 and if he gets on at the weekend, will win his 50th cap. He is a hell of a player to bring on when someone’s lungs are playing up.”

Croft added: “The body is fine. With hindsight, it was probably the best thing cardio-wise for me having to defend for 20-25 phases against Italy and just getting the body back used to international rugby.

“I feel like I’m in a good place and I hope I can do the shirt justice.”