Jamie George has urged his England team to put their passion on full display when one of rugby’s great rivalries is renewed at Twickenham on Saturday.
Wales are the opponents in round two of the Guinness Six Nations and new captain George is determined to match their zeal for the jersey when he leads the team out on home soil for the first time.
England are hoping to improve engagement with their supporters through changes to the matchday experience at Twickenham, such as increasing the length of the players’ walk through the crowds from their bus to the changing room.
On their last appearance at the ground in August they were booed off by their own fans having lost to Fiji for the first time in their history in a deflating Rugby World Cup send-off.
George is keen for England to find their own inspiration rather than looking to emulate Celtic fury, but he knows that results will ultimately shape the relationship between team and supporters.
“We don’t want to replicate anything, we want to do things our way. We can build emotion and motivation through different ways,” the Saracens hooker said.
“Something we have talked about a lot as a group is passion and not being afraid to show passion. I’ve certainly been encouraging of that this week.
“If people want to use that passion and emotion, as long as we are controlled and clear about what we are doing rugby-wise, I don’t see why we shouldn’t do that.
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“We don’t want to replicate anyone else’s emotion – we are never going to try to do things another team’s way. We want to be authentic.”
England have lost 50 per cent of their Six Nations matches at Twickenham over the last three years as part of a significant period of underachievement in the tournament pre-dating Steve Borthwick’s arrival as head coach.
“First and foremost, we’ve identified that our win rate there hasn’t been good enough. The most intimidating atmospheres come off the back of the most intimidating teams,” George said.
“If we want to be the the type of team we want to be and create an intimidating environment to play in at Twickenham then we have to be the sort of team that we want to be.
“I think there’s going to be a great buy-in and a great atmosphere at Twickenham. Now the responsibility is on us as players to go and back that up.”
Borthwick has named an unchanged matchday 23 to the one announced for the 27-24 victory over Italy after prop Ellis Genge recovered from a foot injury to take his place on the bench.
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Wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso made his Test debut in Rome on Saturday and he continues as a replacement against the nation of his birth.
The 21-year-old wing sensation has pledged allegiance to England despite being born and raised in Cardiff, prompting Wales boss Warren Gatland to remark that his decision had not gone down well across the border.
“Manny came on and did really well against Italy. He has been an incredibly calm, composed and mature character,” Borthwick said.
“He’s trained very well and in the little time I’ve known him he doesn’t seem to get fazed. I only have good things to say about him.”