England v Wales: Ross Moriarty vows to get 'stuck in' physically at Twickenham

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Sport Wales
Back-rower Ross Moriarty has played 44 times for Wales since making his debut against Ireland in August 2015
Back-rower Ross Moriarty has played 44 times for Wales since making his debut against Ireland in August 2015
Guinness Six Nations: England v Wales
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 7 March Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru, with text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

Wales back-rower Ross Moriarty is not known for taking a backward step during his international career so far.

There will be no exception on Saturday when he aims to power into the England forwards at Twickenham.

"Getting stuck into people physically is my bread and butter so I'll definitely be trying to do that from the start," said Moriarty.

"We know if you don't match England physically you've got no chance, especially in their backyard."

Moriarty added: "They pride themselves on having a big and physical pack with a few big backs so we know what's coming."

Wales have not beaten England at Twickenham in the Six Nations since 2012 and Moriarty knows the home side need to be neutralised in the early exchanges.

"You want to put your marker down early and keep the crowd quiet, especially at Twickenham," said Moriarty.

"That's a big thing for us. It's great when we play at home as we get the crowd on our side and it's the same for them when they're in their own backyard. It's not nice when someone comes in and ruffles up your feathers."

Tale of two nations

It is always interesting to hear Moriarty talking about England in such terms because he was part of their Under-20s side that won the Junior World Championships in 2013 and 2014.

Moriarty, 25, qualified for England after being born in St Helens when father and former Wales international Paul was plying his rugby league trade.

After returning to Wales when he was two, Ross moved from Swansea to Gloucester when he was 16 to attend Hartpury College while Moriarty senior also worked in the coaching team at Kingsholm.

There is no doubt where Moriarty believes his allegiance lies now.

"I definitely consider myself Welsh even though I played for England," said Moriarty.

"That was more about the opportunity they gave me and the coach's belief in me. I took it as an opportunity which I grabbed with both hands.

"When you're in a situation where you need something to take, I think I'm definitely one for that. If I hadn't had taken that route I might never have played for Wales.

"So you can't look at it like 'He should never have played for England or blah, blah, blah.' That's not the case - you just have to be the best you can."

Twickenham is a very tough place – Warburton

Moriarty was in the same England Under-20s side as Saracens centre Nick Tompkins that won the tournament in 2014.

Tompkins has made his Wales senior debut during the 2020 campaign, qualifying through his Welsh grandmother.

"I was surprised at his call-up," admitted Moriarty.

"I know him well, but I did send him a message asking him if he knew how to get to Cardiff!

"I've had a bit of a laugh with him, but there is never any nastiness. There is a bit of banter around the place and it's good to have him here.

"I took the same route. I went to play for England to come through and play for Wales and Nick has done the same.

"It's nice to see him. He's a good boy and I get on with him well.

"Nick has done some great things in the games. He's shown his ability with ball in hand and his speed.

"He scored a great try against Italy and made a nice break towards the end of the game against France. He's still very fresh and hasn't had much experience at this level, so he's only going to get better."

Proving himself

Moriarty is out of contract at the Dragons end of the season and insists he remains unsure whether he will stay at Rodney Parade.

On the national stage he has constantly been asked to prove himself in the competitive Wales back-row area.

After starting the tournament as a replacement in the 42-0 win against Italy and 24-14 loss to Ireland before excelling when starting in the defeat against against France.

"I was a bit disappointed to be on the bench to start with," admitted Moriarty.

"I felt I took my role very well and in the chances I had off the bench I felt I came on and put my hand up. I ended up getting the start against France and felt I put my best foot forward in that as well.

"No one would be in this game if they didn't believe in themselves.

"If I didn't think I should be starting then I shouldn't be here at all.

"It's disappointing not to be starting, but when you're on the bench you have to make the most of when you come on. I feel like I've done that well."

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