FORMER Wales captain Sam Warburton believes the pressure is all on “red-hot favourites” England at Twickenham today, and that will suit Warren Gatland’s young side perfectly.

Wales are looking for their first Six Nations victory in England since 2012 and aiming to build on a stunning second-half comeback against Scotland last weekend.

Gatland’s men fell just short, losing 27-26 at the Principality Stadium, and Warburton admits they face an uphill task to get back to winning ways against England.

But the former skipper, who led Wales to a 19-12 win at Twickenham on the way to the Grand Slam in 12 years ago, is optimistic that the visitors can spring a surprise tomorrow.

“My only criticism of Wales over the last two years, and maybe this is because they are a young group learning, is that it often takes them to go behind on the scoreboard before they show all their cards and come out, because the pressure is off,” said the 35-year-old.

“If you are down by 27 points, if you give up another five points then you’ve already had your pants pulled down, so they are thinking ‘oh let’s try something’.

“Going away to Twickenham might actually work in Wales’ favour, England being semi-finalists in the World Cup, and going away from home then I think the pressure is off. The pressure is on England.”

Steve Borthwick’s team began their campaign with a narrow 27-24 win in Italy last weekend and will be keen to put on a good performance in front of their home fans having suffered a shock defeat in their last home match – a pre-World Cup friendly against Fiji.

“Italy are a much better team this season,” said Warburton. “I do think England had a tricky game out there so the wind was good for them. But people will still be thinking England should put Wales to the sword given that Scotland beat them.

“But given that the pressure is off Wales, it will suit them. England are red-hot favourites, Wales haven’t won there since 2012 and before that in the Six Nations it was 2008. They were both Grand Slam teams who won at Twickenham. You don’t win at Twickenham as an average team.

“The odds are stacked against Wales, Twickenham was one of my favourite places to play but it was always so hard to go there,” he added.

“If I was a betting man I’d go with England, but it does suit Wales that the pressure is off. If they can put England under some pressure early, just like Scotland did last week, I think it could be a tricky afternoon.”

  • Canterbury ambassador, Sam Warburton was speaking at the Canterbury x British & Irish Lions preview event, which gave retailers the first look at the 2025 Lions jersey. For more detail visit