Euro 2016: Aaron Ramsey inspired by 1999 rugby win as Wales face England

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport in Dinard, France
Aaron Ramsey (left) celebrates Wales' opening Euro 2016 win against Slovakia with Chris Gunter
Aaron Ramsey (left) celebrates Wales' opening Euro 2016 win against Slovakia with Chris Gunter
Euro 2016: England v Wales
Venue: Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis, Lens Date: Thursday, 16 June Kick-off: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, the BBC Sport website and app.

Aaron Ramsey has revealed how Wales will be inspired by their rugby counterparts' triumphs over England when they aim to beat their rivals for the first time since 1984 at Euro 2016.

Wales top Group B after their opening win over Slovakia, while England are second having drawn with Russia.

Before the Slovakia match, Ramsey received a message from ex-Wales rugby captain Scott Quinnell, whose 1999 win over England he aims to emulate.

"Hopefully we can do that," he said.

"It's been a long time since we beat them. It's about time we changed that.

"You can see it in all sports, in rugby and things like that, there is always an extra edge with England. We are no different, we are really looking forward to it and getting something out of the game."

Ramsey and his team-mates will be looking to improve a dismal Welsh record against England.

Wales have won only 14 of their 101 matches against their bitter rivals, losing 66 and drawing 21.

By contrast, Wales' rugby team have won 57, lost 60 and drawn 12 of their 129 encounters against England.

England v Wales 1999

However, this is a Welsh football side who have already bucked long historical trends, ending a 58-year absence from major tournaments by qualifying for Euro 2016.

They started their campaign with victory over Slovakia, and Ramsey says the team's success owed much to the messages of support their received before the match in Bordeaux.

"I've had a few off the rugby players. Scott Quinnell sent quite a funny one. You'd have to ask the FAW [Football Association of Wales] for the video," the Arsenal midfielder added.

"We've had a lot of support. Everyone is excited. There's a lot around the country, you can see the support.

"One of the best feelings I've had was experiencing how the anthem was sung against Slovakia. Hopefully there's a few more of those spine-tingling moments to come."

Family support

While Quinnell's gesture brought a smile to Ramsey's face, the 25-year-old was moved by a message he received from his wife Colleen and seven-month old son Sonny.

"It's been a while since I saw my little boy. It's only been a few weeks but so much change happens," said Ramsey.

"Seeing him and my wife was quite upsetting but they're all behind us and realising we are doing something special. That was probably the biggest thing I've had to overcome so far.

"When I left he was at the stage where he was just about going to crawl. He's started now and my wife managed to capture it on video so I was able to see it. He's got a mini Wales number 10 shirt."

Pressure off against England

Victory against England in Lens on Thursday would guarantee Wales' place in the knockout stages.

However, even if Chris Coleman's men fail to win, they would still be well placed to reach the last 16.

"The pressure is all on them [England]. We know what we are capable of doing, we will try and give everything to get a result and hopefully that is enough," said Ramsey.

"Of course, we're relaxed, we're enjoying every minute of it, it's a new experience. To get off to a winning start helps.

"Anything that happens is a bonus. That's the feeling we get. There's no pressure, maybe that's why."

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