Richard Hibbard has welcomed the return of Alun Wyn Jones to the Wales side
Richard Hibbard has welcomed the return of Alun Wyn Jones for Sunday's crunch RBS 6 Nations clash with England.
The Welsh nation is passionate and they will definitely want us to do well in this game. We need to get the result to stay in contention for the title
Jones missed Wales' win over France with a foot infection but comes straight back into the side for the trip to Twickenham alongside fellow British & Irish Lion Jonathan Davies.
It means Wales field a hugely experienced side in London, the starting XV boasting 691 Test caps between them.
"Alun is an inspiration and having him back in the squad is great - he leads from the front," said hooker Hibbard, who lines up alongside Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins in the front row at RFU HQ.
"As I've said many times, Alun is a flat out psycho. He's a natural leader and he's always the first one talking and keeping the boys motivated
"And it's great to have Foxy (Jonathan Davies) back too. He's built to carry the ball but he's also one of the classiest players in the squad."
This time last year, Hibbard, Jones and Jenkins guided Wales to a famous 30-3 victory over England, their forward platform laying the groundwork for a win which secured a second consecutive RBS 6 Nations title.
Their dominance at the scrum that day proved a key factor, leaving Hibbard to be picked out by England this week as one of Wales' main dangers.
But with Warren Gatland's men going up against an English pack featuring the likes of Hibbard's opposite number Dylan Harley, Wales know they won't be in for an easy ride.
"It's flattering to be picked out as one of the main ball carriers," said Hibbard.
"I've met Dylan Hartley a few times, I met him for a day with the Lions before he was banned and I've played against him twice this season. He is a physical player, he likes to get stuck into people but as a team we are looking forward to the challenge. We expect to be tested but we are going to go into them hard and the same will happen when they come at us."
With England and Wales, as well as Ireland and France, going into this weekend's games level on points at the top of the table, the build up to Sunday's game is already at fever pitch. The Wales camp is remaining calm though, as they prepare for this weekend.
"It's a passionate game but I met a few of the English boys on the Lions tour and they were all great to get along with," said Hibbard.
"The Welsh nation is passionate and they will definitely want us to do well in this game. We need to get the result to stay in contention for the title."
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
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