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England’s Joseph well aware of Wales threat

Jonathan Joseph has insisted there is no danger of England being caught cold when they face a struggling Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup.

Victory over their fierce border rivals in Llanelli on Saturday would assure Six Nations champions England of a place in next week’s final and deepen the mood of despondency enveloping the Welsh game.

England are huge favourites to win at Parc Y Scarlets, with Wales having lost six matches in a row prior to last weekend’s success against Georgia.

But England wing Joseph said Friday that complacency won’t be an issue.

“I’m not going to fall into that trap,” Joseph told reporters.

“If you do as a team, you find yourself in an arm wrestle and not playing to the standards you should be.”

As for Saturday’s opponents, the 29-year-old Bath back added “Wales have lost a few games recently and I’m sure people are getting into them a bit, but they’ll look at this game as the chance to turn their season around.

“For most countries England is the game they definitely want to win. We know we’ve got a huge battle on our hands and we’ve prepared like we would for any other game.

“We know how big a challenge it is playing Wales.”

Joseph has spent the bulk of his 53 England Tests as an outside centre but this weekend is set to see him deployed in a ‘free’ role on the right wing for the third successive international.

It was a position from where Joseph helped create a try for Elliot Daly against Georgia but he had less room in which to operate during an 18-7 win over Ireland at Twickenham last weekend, with England’s defence dominating a match where Joseph’s fellow wing Jonny May scored two tries. 

“It’s slightly different being on the wing, but the way we play here possibly suits my strengths a little bit more to be out wide,” Joseph said.

“I’m more of a roaming centre, trying to get my hands on a bit more space. It frees me up a little bit to get my attacking game going.”

England coach Eddie Jones has rejigged his midfield, with George Ford recalled at fly-half and captain Owen Farrell moving into the centres to partner Henry Slade after Ollie Lawrence was ruled out because of a hip injury.

“It won’t be too different without Ollie there,” said Joseph. “We’ve seen this combination many times before and we’ve been good.”

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