Rugby World Cup 2015: Williams calls for Tipuric v England

Media playback is not supported on this device

As Wales prepare to face England at the Rugby World Cup, BBC Scrum V's Phil Steele gives a quirky guide to the 'old enemy'.
Rugby World Cup: England v Wales
Venue: Twickenham, London Dates: 26 September Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC local radio, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.
Further coverage: BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio.

Wales should start both Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric as flankers against England in Saturday's World Cup game, says ex-Wales player Martyn Williams.

The 100-cap former open-side flanker expects Gatland to pick the "tried and trusted" trio of Dan Lydiate, Taulupe Faletau and captain Warburton.

But Williams said on Scrum V: "Could we go to Twickenham with two sevens? I'd go for it, I really would.

"It's so difficult to leave Tipuric out, he brings something extra to us."

Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau
Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau celebrate winning the 2013 Six Nations

Williams says creative Ospreys open-side Tipuric, 26, was "man of the match" in the two World Cup warm-up games against Ireland and their opening Pool A win against Uruguay on Sunday.

And he pointed to Australia's recent trend of also picking two specialist open-sides in David Pocock and Michael Hooper as an example of how such a partnership can succeed.

Like this? Read these...
Injury worries mount for Wales
Gatland warns of 'physical England'
Fishlock eyes another loan deal

But he admits Gatland has a major decision to make in the debate that revolves around Tipuric's creative ability and fellow Osprey Lydiate's defensive prowess.

Williams continued: "The Aussies do it with Hooper and Pocock, but the Aussies play a more expansive game than us so I think they can do that.

"Don't underestimate what Dan Lydiate does. He makes a lot of players look good around him.

"It's a massive call for Gatland. He singled out Tipuric and said how good a game he's had (against Uruguay)."

Justin Tipuric
Justin Tipuric scored one of Wales' eight tries against Uruguay on Sunday

What else do you want from an open-side?

Worcester Warriors coach and former England number eight Dean Ryan says the choice facing Gatland will be made based on the tactics he hopes to employ.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Warburton says the England match will be one of the biggest of his career

Ryan said that it could be argued that Lydiate and Tipuric are not up against each other for a place in the starting XV because "in straight performance Tipuric is an extra man in the wide channel and he's had the highest number of turnovers".

Ryan asked: "What else do you want from your seven?

"I suppose the key debate for Warren is tactics. Does he want to take England on around the corner? With Lydiate you've got an extra ball carrier with Alun Wyn Jones going around the corner.

"But you're going straight into what is a traditional English strong point.

"And if you look to when England were beaten convincingly [30-3 in the 2013 Six Nations] at the Millennium Stadium, the two flankers were Tipuric and Warburton."

Gatland must assess injury concerns at centre, prop and full-back before naming his team on Thursday.

Top Stories