Sam Warburton says Wales’s weekend match against England at Twickenham will be a ‘fantastic battle’ between experience and youth as he returns as a coach eight years on from that famous victory in 2012.
Since retiring in 2018 the former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain has taken up the position of technical adviser in Wayne Pivac’s backroom staff for the national side.
“I just love being back at the coal-face with the team,” said Warburton.
“It’s where I feel I can contribute, and I love it.”
Warburton captained Wales to their last victory at Twickenham in 2012 and believes the back-row battle will be pivotal if his side are to prevail against England away from home again.
He said: “From a back-row perspective, it’s going to be one of our best challenges and match-ups. I am looking forward to seeing it.
“We’re playing against two young guys [Sam Underhill and Tom Curry] who are hungry and in search of more international honours, Lions honours, and we’ve got guys who have achieved that and want to maintain it.
“They are big-game players, they are starters for England, and they are some of the first names on the team sheet.
“From what I’ve seen, they have both been impressive and they both fully deserve to start for England. When they have played, they’ve made a good impact.
“It’s a fantastic battle of experience against youth.”
The 31-year-old former flanker captained his country a record 49 times and faced England 10 times during his career, winning four and losing six.
Despite the rivalry between the two sides, Warburton believes from his own experiences the current crop of players will be motivated by the history the two nations share.
“Rather than the personal rivalries, the players get more energised over the history of the game and occasion,” Warburton added.
“That does mean a lot to the players.
“To represent Wales at Twickenham and get a win there is massive, and you know how much it means to the country.
“It’s a much easier trip to get your milk because everyone is so happy.
“As players, we all know each other and follow each other on Instagram, so the personal rivalry has gone, but the national rivalry is still there.”
Wales’ hopes of retaining their title were all but ended by consecutive defeats to France and Ireland, but ahead of the England clash they will be aiming to not lose three successive Guinness Six Nations matches since 2007.
“The Championship has gone, which is absolutely devastating,” said Warburton.
“We’ve had two weeks to wait for it (the England game), and it has felt like a really long two weeks.
“As players, you need that time because you have a week to recover a bit, but from a coaching perspective you just want to keep bouncing into the next game.”