England v Wales, Rugby World Cup 2023 warm-up: When is it and how to watch on TV

Lewis Ludlam and England train - England v Wales, Rugby World Cup 2023 warm-up: When is it and how to watch on TV

Lewis Ludlam and England are building towards their opening World Cup warm-up match on Aug 5 – Getty Images/Dan Mullan

England are in the midst of preparations for the Rugby World Cup and will take their preparation up a gear with four warm-up matches in August.

With England’s first game of the tournament against Argentina in Pool D scheduled for Sept 9, Steve Borthwick will look to use the first of these fixtures against Wales to tinker with his final squad selection.

Last time these two sides met, England edged to victory in a scrappy 20-10 clash in Cardiff in the Six Nations.

But after a disappointing fourth-place finish in that tournament, Borthwick faces a race against time to get his side up to speed for the World Cup.

When is it?

England face Wales, in the first of their four World Cup warm-up matches, on Aug 5 at 5.30pm (BST).

Where is the match being played?

Wales will host Borthwick’s side at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. England can expect a cauldron-like atmosphere if the home side opt for the roof to be closed, as is their preference.

What other warm-up matches are England playing?

  • England vs Wales, Principality Stadium, Saturday, Aug 5, 5.30pm

  • England vs Wales, Twickenham, Saturday, Aug 12, 5.30pm

  • England vs Ireland, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, Aug 19, 5.30pm

  • England vs Fiji, Twickenham, Saturday, Aug 26, 3.15pm

How to watch on TV

The first match of this summer double-header against Wales will be broadcast on Amazon Prime (UK). The remainder of England’s World Cup warm-up fixtures will also be exclusively available in the UK through the streaming platform.

Amazon Prime Video membership starts at £5.99 a month. Alternatively, the streaming platform offers a free 30-day trial of its full £8.99 a month package, which comes with other benefits including free Amazon delivery. This can be cancelled at any time.

Latest news

Sweet treats are off the menu for England’s players in a self-imposed ban, according to flanker Lewis Ludlam, as the hard work continues building towards the Rugby World Cup.

Catching sight of the refreshments on offer at England’s Pennyhill Park base, Ludlam remarked that he had not seen a cake in weeks, before elaborating that the squad have voluntarily clamped down on any desserts.

Referencing how previous dietary restrictions might have been imposed on the squad during the Eddie Jones era, Ludlam explained the group’s new voluntary approach.

“To be honest, the regime has changed, in that it is not as much forced upon you but you have the trust to do everything the right way, so we are in the best position to go and put ourselves in the best spot come this World Cup,” Ludlam said.

“There is a general feeling among the squad we have got to be on the money and making sure we are making decisions so we are better rugby players the next week and the next month. It is a good group of lads so we keep each other in check.

“There might be a birthday cake here and there but I think the lads are pretty understanding of what is ahead of us, and in the grand scheme of things it is a short time in our career when we can be really on it to give ourselves the chance of creating some really special memories.”

Chocolate biscuits have been a part of England’s preparations the day before matches going back to 1999, with Richard Hill, the former flanker and current England team manager, recalling how taking them away had led to disastrous consequences.

Speaking in 2020, Hill said: “It [the chocolate biscuit] slipped its way into the team room at four o’clock, and it was well-received. All the players would have backed it wholeheartedly, it would have become a regular occurrence turning up at 4pm. If it didn’t appear there’d be all sorts of telephone calls going out to the [strength and conditioning] coaches wanting to know where it is. There was one time they removed it and we lost the next day.”

The squads

Wales squad

Wales have been struck by more injury woes with captain Ken Owens pulling out of their training squad due to a back problem.

The 91-cap hooker could return to the fold at some stage during the tournament but is unlikely to make it back in time for the England game.

Sam Parry of the Ospreys has been called up as a result, joining Dewi Lake, Ryan Elias and Elliot Dee in a squad featuring four hookers. Meanwhile, both Josh Mcleod and Will Davies-King have withdrawn due to shoulder and foot issues, respectively.

This comes on top of an injury concern for Taulupe Faletau whose calf complaint has ruled him out of the team’s training camp in Turkey. The veteran no.8’s fitness will be closely monitored with time running out ahead of the tournament in France in September.

Taulupe Faletau (left) - England vs Wales, Rugby World Cup 2023 warm-up: When is it and how to watch on TV

Taulupe Faletau (left) will miss Wales’ first World Cup warm-up fixture against England due to a calf injury – REUTERS/Tony Obrien

Wales previously announced that Cuthbert and Owen Williams had not travelled to Turkey due to personal reasons. The two other players missing from the squad for Turkey are Johnny Williams and Joe Roberts.

Warren Gatland, the Wales head coach, will announce his final 33-player squad for the World Cup after Wales’ warm-up matches.

Gatland has named nine uncapped players in a 43-man squad for pre-Rugby World Cup warm-up matches next month, including former England prop Henry Thomas.

Thomas, 31, won seven caps for England in the 2013-14 season but qualifies for Wales through his father. He has been able to take advantage of the same World Rugby eligibility rule that allowed Jean Kleyn to play for South Africa this month having previously represented Ireland.

Forwards: Corey Domachowski, Kemsley Mathias, Nicky Smith, Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Sam Parry, Keiron Assiratti, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Henry Thomas, Adam Beard, Ben Carter, Rhys Davies, Dafydd Jenkins, Will Rowlands, Christ Tshiunza, Teddy Williams, Taine Basham, Dan Lydiate, Jac Morgan, Taine Plumtree, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright

Backs: Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Sam Costelow, Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn, George North, Nick Tompkins, Keiran Williams, Josh Adams, Rio Dyer, Cai Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Louis Rees-Zammit, Tom Rogers, Liam Williams.

England squad

Borthwick will be looking to use the warm-up match to finalise his 33-player World Cup squad, to be announced on Aug 7.

Squad starting to reap benefits of extended time together

Squad starting to reap benefits of extended time together

The England coach has already made several big selection calls ahead of the clash, axing Sam Underhill and Cadan Murley from the training squad.

Underhill was one of England’s key performers from their last World Cup campaign, and his absence indicates the side’s fierce competition at flanker.

England have also had their own injury concerns to manage, with Billy Vunipola and Ollie Lawrence poised to rejoin the main training squad after rehabilitating their respective issues.

Vunipola, who underwent knee surgery after missing the end of the domestic season, is to undertake modified training with less than a fortnight to go until the opening warm-up Test against Wales in Cardiff.

Bevan Rodd has been recalled, less than a week after being released himself, as Mako Vunipola remains with Saracens to receive attention on his ongoing back issue. That leaves Ellis Genge and Joe Marler as the senior loosehead props.

Jack Walker and Ollie Chessum are the remaining designated rehabilitation players.

The England squad for the Wales game is yet to be announced, but will be selected from the group of 44 players that Borthwick assembled at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot last week. Those players were as follows:

Forwards: Jamie Blamire, Dan Cole, Tom Curry, Theo Dan, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, George Martin, Tom Pearson, Val Rapava-Ruskin, David Ribbans, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Jack Willis, Tom Willis

Backs: Henry Arundell, Danny Care, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Cadan Murley, Guy Porter, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs

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