Six Nations: Pressure on Wales for England game - Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton (L) and England captain Chris Robshaw (R)
Wales captain Sam Warburton (left) will go head to head against England skipper Chris Robshaw (right)
RBS Six Nations: Wales v England
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: Friday, 6 February Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, S4C online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Captain Sam Warburton says Wales are under pressure to beat England in their Six Nations opener on 6 February.

Wales also host Ireland and face trips to Scotland, France and Italy.

Warburton, 26, said: "If we lose then we've got three away games and we're one game down already... that's why there is quite a bit of pressure on that game to win."

His focus on England is such that Warburton was, until recently, unaware Scotland are Wales' second opponents.

He added: "To be honest I didn't know who we were playing second in the [Six Nations] fixture list until the other day.

Wales' Six Nations Fixtures:
Friday, 6 February: England (Cardiff)
Sunday, 15 February: Scotland (Murrayfield)
Saturday, 28 February: France (Paris)
Saturday, 14 March: Ireland (Cardiff)
Saturday, 21 March: Italy (Rome)

"I think everyone is focused on the England game."

Stuart Lancaster's side are in Wales' pool for the 2015 World Cup, but Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton says thoughts will not turn to that until after the Six Nations.

The 2013 British and Irish Lions skipper said: "The Six Nations will always be important.

"I know in 2011 Wales came fourth and we still did well in the World Cup, but I definitely wouldn't want to use that as an excuse.

"I want to win the Six Nations."

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In 2014 Wales were aiming to win their third Six Nations title in a row, but losses to Ireland and England saw them finish third.

Warburton, 26, says the opener against England could have a bearing on his dreams of lifting the title for a third time.

"It is really important to win that first match just for momentum, otherwise it is difficult to come back from," he said.

"We did it in 2013, but it was very hard. If you can win that first game it definitely helps preparation for the weeks that follow.

"It could be the best fixture or the worst fixture [to start with]. If we win it will be fantastic for us, the team will be on a high, so will all the fans.

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Warren Gatland and Stuart Lancaster says the 2013 result between the two sides will have no bearing on their 2015 Six Nations opener.

"We know we've got to win our home games, there's only two this year so it's very key that we win that first one."

England have suffered injuries to key players ahead of the Six Nations, with Owen Farrell ruled out for the entire campaign, while Geoff Parling, Brad Barritt, Kyle Eastmond and Tom Wood will miss the trip to Cardiff.

Wales, in contrast, have few injury concerns and Warburton himself is feeling good.

"I feel fit. My shoulders and my knees are fine so physically I'm probably in the best place that I've been going into a Six Nations," he said.

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