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Wales 19-9 England

By Gareth Roberts

BBC Sport Wales at the Millennium Stadium

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Wales (6) 19

England (6) 9

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James Hook scored the crucial try as Wales beat England in a pulsating if error-strewn World Cup warm-up clash at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

Wales, who lost Gavin Henson to injury, led 6-3 after two Rhys Priestland penalties but Toby Flood levelled it.

England dominated either side of half-time but failed to unlock Wales’ defence, only managing another penalty.

Wales picked themselves up to score with Hook’s try just before the hour and he landed two penalties to seal it.

England failed to score a try for the first time in 14 Tests to leave manager Martin Johnson with plenty to ponder ahead of their final warm-up match against Ireland in Dublin on 27 August.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland had told his team they had to win if they hoped to be considered serious contenders for the forthcoming World Cup, and they duly ended a three-match losing streak ahead of Argentina‘s visit to Cardiff next Saturday.

Media playback is not supported on this device

The hosts began strongly, George North taking an innovative kick-off on the right flank to set up a first-minute penalty for Priestland.

But England replied in kind as Flood’s restart fell to Nick Easter and this time Wales got on the wrong side of referee Alain Rolland for the England fly-half to level.

Jamie Roberts was a knock-on away from a sensational try from Lloyd Burns’ long line-out throw as the venom with which Wales started continued unabated.

Priestland’s second penalty was the reward after 10 minutes, but when Wales’ early fury abated, England’s forward power began to take its toll.

In a display reminiscent of Johnson’s heyday as captain, England’s driving line-outs and close-quarter aggression were the foundation of a territorial dominance that spanned the game’s two middle quarters.

An impressive series of scrums close to the Welsh line had the hosts in all sorts of trouble and on the brink of conceding a penalty try.

But just as that moment approached, England’s pack lost control of the ball and when Richard Wigglesworth launched the backline attack, Henson was equal to the challenge.

He brought down Shontayne Hape and the ball spilled into grateful Welsh hands. But after an impressive opening half-hour, Henson was forced off by injury.

England wing Matt Banahan – who came into the starting line-up after Chris Ashton failed a fitness test – looked set to score in the right corner after 13 minutes but Shane Williams brought down the towering wing and Hook stripped him of the ball as he attempted to touch down.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Flood levelled after Wales went off their feet at a ruck and for the rest of the opening period the hosts were forced to defend.

They did so admirably even if England showed a lack of invention and cutting edge in the Welsh 22.

Flood sent Mike Tindall through a hole in midfield on a 40-metre run, but Wales again thwarted the threat close to their own line when Hape was scragged, leaving England increasingly frustrated.

The hosts reshuffled their back division at the break, Aled Brew coming on at wing, Priestland departing and Williams switching to full-back.

Roberts was sin-binned within moments of the restart for not releasing the tackler, further disrupting their back division, and Flood put England ahead for the first time.

As the contest wore on the fitness advantage Wales skipper Sam Warburton and Roberts had claimed over their opponents seemed to be true.

The hosts’ attacking style drew England back and forth across the field and as the gaps appeared Wales edged closer and closer to the try-line.

Just before the hour Hook evaded Dan Cole, James Haskell and Danny Care to touch down and reclaim the lead, converting his own try.

The Perpignan-bound player added a penalty after 68 minutes and despite Wales losing scrum-half Mike Phillips to the sin-bin with nine minutes left, England could still not take advantage.

Hook landed another penalty from halfway in the final minute to send the Welsh fans home delirious, and England away with much to contemplate.

Wales: Hook, North, Roberts, Henson, Shane Williams, Priestland, Phillips; James, Burns, Mitchell, Charteris, AW Jones, Lydiate, Warburton (capt), Faletau. Replacements: Bennett (for Burns, 53), Bevington (for James, James for Mitchell, 77), Turnbull (for Wyn Jones, 60), Tipuric, Knoyle, Scott Williams (for Henson, 32), Brew (for Priestland, 41).

Yellow card: Roberts (41), Phillips (71)

England: Foden, Banahan, Tindall (capt), Hape, Cueto; Flood, Wigglesworth; Corbisiero, Thompson, Cole; Deacon, Lawes; Wood, Fourie, Easter.

Replacements: Mears (for Thompson, 59), Stevens (for Corbisiero, 59), Palmer (for Deacon, 68), Haskell (for Fourie, 50), Care (for Wigglesworth, 30), Hodgson (for Flood, 68), Armitage (for Tindall, 59, Tindall back on 74).

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Cardiff Central is the nearest station to the Stadium and operates mainline services from West Wales, the Midlands, the South Coast and London. Cardiff Queen Street Station is a 15 minute walk to the east of the Stadium and offers local rail services across Cardiff and from the South Wales Valleys.

A queuing system is generally in operation at Cardiff Central Station after each event so please check the Arriva Trains website before travelling for further information. When arriving from Cardiff Central station passengers should bear left along Wood Street for Gates 5, 6 and 7 or bear right along Wood Street to Westgate Street for Gates 4, 3, 2 continuing around to Gate 1 on Castle Street.

You can travel to Cardiff by coach from most UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. There are also with regular buses services between most town/cities in Wales if you staying outside of Cardiff.

Cardiff Central Bus Station is a five minute walk from the stadium, passengers exit the bus station and bear left along Wood Street for Gates 5, 6 and 7 or bear right along Wood Street to Westgate Street for Gates 4, 3, 2 continuing around to Gate 1 on Castle Street. Coach parking on event days is usually located at Sophia Gardens which is just a five minute walk away, following the river.

Cardiff’s location on the M4 corridor makes it easily accessible by car and is within two hours drive of London and the East Midlands. There is no dedicated spectator car parking at, or near, the stadium or matches days but there is plenty of parking available in the City Center itself.

We would advise spectators take advantage of the Park and Rides available on events days located at Leckwith. You book these locations and others in advance by clicking here.

Please note that this link will take you through to the website www.parkjockey.com which is run by Park Jockey London Limited and which is independent of Principality Stadium.

If you live in or are staying in Cardiff then walking to the stadium may be your best option as local transport systems can be very busy on event days. If you are staying in Cardiff Bay you can also take a boat taxi to the City Centre.

Principality Stadium is located within 30 minutes’ drive of Cardiff Airport and 45 minutes’ drive of Bristol Airport. An express bus service (T9) operates directly from the terminal to the City Centre.

A short shuttle bus journey connects the Airport to the train station at Rhoose, which is a 30-minute rail journey to Cardiff Central Station.

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Millennium Stadium | Rugby

Known for its electric atmosphere, the Millennium Stadium (now renamed the Principality Stadium) is one of the greatest sporting venues in the World, with fans and players alike stating how brilliant it is to be part of game day in Cardiff. Read on to find out more about our 2019 Six Nations hospitality packages.

Picture yourself as part of a 60,000 strong crowd walking along the River Taff up to the gates of the towering figure that is the stadium. With the roof closed the sound builds to a crescendo as the players run onto the pitch amongst lights and flames of fireworks. Definitely one to experience.

Autumn International Matches:
Wales v Scotland | Principality Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 3rd November 2018
Wales v Australia | Principality Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 10th November 2018
Wales v Tonga | Principality Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 17th November 2018
Wales v South Africa | Principality Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 24th November 2018

Six Nations Matches:
Wales v England | Principality Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 23rd February 2019
Wales v Ireland | Principality Stadium, Cardiff | Saturday 16th March 2019

Hospitality Includes
Immerse yourself further into the atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium by going with one of our hospitality packages in either the Players’ Lounge or Millennium Lounge Package. Take a look below for inclusions.

We strive to ensure you have the best experience at the right price and with over 17 years experience you can count on our Paragon Promise.

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Lewis Moody VIP Club (Wales Vs England Only)

Join the Lewis Moody VIP Club, as Paragon take Twickenham’s Premium Hospitality Facility to Cardiff for the latest instalment of Wales v England.

Package inclusions:
• Superb hospitality venue, a short walk from the Stadium
• Officially allocated seats in the West/East Lower Stand
• MC Rachel Wyse of Sky Sports
• Hosted by former England captain, Lewis Moody
• Champagne reception on arrival
• Complimentary bar of beer, wine and soft drinks
• 4-course pre-match luncheon served with fine wines
• After party, with entertainment, bar and refreshments
• Celebrity rugby speakers
• Option of rugby legend as your table host

Players’ Lounge Package

Gethin Jones with 2 other rugby legends are your hosts for the day in the Players’ Lounge at the Millennium Stadium, giving you their views of how the match will go. The views of the rugby are spectacular around the halfway mark and the food and champagne reception add a touch of class to the day.

Package inclusions:
• Champagne on arrival
• 3 course lunch
• Complimentary bar (ex. Champagne)
• Q&A with legends of rugby
• After game cheese board
• Gift from Millennium Stadium

Millennium Lounge Package

The Millennium Lounge is a private facility where you will be visited by a rugby legend during your day. The seating is located at the halfway line and the food/drink is excellent as you would expect from this prestigious venue.

Package inclusions:
• Champagne on arrival
• 3 course lunch
• Complimentary bar (ex. Champagne)
• Visit from rugby legend
• After game cheese board
• Gift from Millennium Stadium

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Lewis Moody VIP Club: Dublin

2nd February 2019

Lewis Moody VIP Club: Cardiff

23rd February 2019

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12th-15th March 2019

Monaco Grand Prix

The Ashes: Exclusive Preview Dinner

May 2019 (Date TBC)

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Wales 19-9 England

By Gareth Roberts

BBC Sport Wales at the Millennium Stadium

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Wales (6) 19

England (6) 9

Media playback is not supported on this device

James Hook scored the crucial try as Wales beat England in a pulsating if error-strewn World Cup warm-up clash at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

Wales, who lost Gavin Henson to injury, led 6-3 after two Rhys Priestland penalties but Toby Flood levelled it.

England dominated either side of half-time but failed to unlock Wales’ defence, only managing another penalty.

Wales picked themselves up to score with Hook’s try just before the hour and he landed two penalties to seal it.

England failed to score a try for the first time in 14 Tests to leave manager Martin Johnson with plenty to ponder ahead of their final warm-up match against Ireland in Dublin on 27 August.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland had told his team they had to win if they hoped to be considered serious contenders for the forthcoming World Cup, and they duly ended a three-match losing streak ahead of Argentina’s visit to Cardiff next Saturday.

Media playback is not supported on this device

The hosts began strongly, George North taking an innovative kick-off on the right flank to set up a first-minute penalty for Priestland.

But England replied in kind as Flood’s restart fell to Nick Easter and this time Wales got on the wrong side of referee Alain Rolland for the England fly-half to level.

Jamie Roberts was a knock-on away from a sensational try from Lloyd Burns’ long line-out throw as the venom with which Wales started continued unabated.

Priestland’s second penalty was the reward after 10 minutes, but when Wales’ early fury abated, England’s forward power began to take its toll.

In a display reminiscent of Johnson’s heyday as captain, England’s driving line-outs and close-quarter aggression were the foundation of a territorial dominance that spanned the game’s two middle quarters.

An impressive series of scrums close to the Welsh line had the hosts in all sorts of trouble and on the brink of conceding a penalty try.

But just as that moment approached, England’s pack lost control of the ball and when Richard Wigglesworth launched the backline attack, Henson was equal to the challenge.

He brought down Shontayne Hape and the ball spilled into grateful Welsh hands. But after an impressive opening half-hour, Henson was forced off by injury.

England wing Matt Banahan – who came into the starting line-up after Chris Ashton failed a fitness test – looked set to score in the right corner after 13 minutes but Shane Williams brought down the towering wing and Hook stripped him of the ball as he attempted to touch down.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Flood levelled after Wales went off their feet at a ruck and for the rest of the opening period the hosts were forced to defend.

They did so admirably even if England showed a lack of invention and cutting edge in the Welsh 22.

Flood sent Mike Tindall through a hole in midfield on a 40-metre run, but Wales again thwarted the threat close to their own line when Hape was scragged, leaving England increasingly frustrated.

The hosts reshuffled their back division at the break, Aled Brew coming on at wing, Priestland departing and Williams switching to full-back.

Roberts was sin-binned within moments of the restart for not releasing the tackler, further disrupting their back division, and Flood put England ahead for the first time.

As the contest wore on the fitness advantage Wales skipper Sam Warburton and Roberts had claimed over their opponents seemed to be true.

The hosts’ attacking style drew England back and forth across the field and as the gaps appeared Wales edged closer and closer to the try-line.

Just before the hour Hook evaded Dan Cole, James Haskell and Danny Care to touch down and reclaim the lead, converting his own try.

The Perpignan-bound player added a penalty after 68 minutes and despite Wales losing scrum-half Mike Phillips to the sin-bin with nine minutes left, England could still not take advantage.

Hook landed another penalty from halfway in the final minute to send the Welsh fans home delirious, and England away with much to contemplate.

Wales: Hook, North, Roberts, Henson, Shane Williams, Priestland, Phillips; James, Burns, Mitchell, Charteris, AW Jones, Lydiate, Warburton (capt), Faletau. Replacements: Bennett (for Burns, 53), Bevington (for James, James for Mitchell, 77), Turnbull (for Wyn Jones, 60), Tipuric, Knoyle, Scott Williams (for Henson, 32), Brew (for Priestland, 41).

Yellow card: Roberts (41), Phillips (71)

England: Foden, Banahan, Tindall (capt), Hape, Cueto; Flood, Wigglesworth; Corbisiero, Thompson, Cole; Deacon, Lawes; Wood, Fourie, Easter.

Replacements: Mears (for Thompson, 59), Stevens (for Corbisiero, 59), Palmer (for Deacon, 68), Haskell (for Fourie, 50), Care (for Wigglesworth, 30), Hodgson (for Flood, 68), Armitage (for Tindall, 59, Tindall back on 74).

ONE NIGHT WEEKEND BREAK

Twickenham Stadium, Sat March 14 at 17:00

England will be taking nothing for granted in their penultimate 6 Nations encounter. Fitness, skill and durability will be on show in front of an emotive Twickenham crowd. This will be a vital game for England and the capital city will be vibrating with anticipation. Our one-night weekend break, with guaranteed official match tickets, will allow fans the chance to soak up the wonderful atmosphere at the home of rugby.

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Twickenham Stadium

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) purchased the land where Twickenham Stadium stands for just over £5,500 in 1907.

Before the ground was bought, it was actually used to grow cabbages, and so Twickenham Stadium is affectionately known as the ‘Cabbage Patch’. The first game was played there in 1909, a battle between local sides Harlequins and Richmond.

The first international game, England v Wales, took place on 15 January 1910 when the stadium had a maximum capacity of 20,000 spectators. Twickenham Stadium is the home of the RFU and is primarily a venue for rugby union games. The stadium hosts England’s home test matches and was the host of the 1991 Rugby World Cup Final in which Australia beat England 6 –12. Twickenham is etched into rugby’s DNA with thousands of great battles staged there with some jaw-dropping moments. Phillippe Saint-Andre’s incredible try for France in 1991 and Australia beating England in that year’s Rugby World Cup final; every rugby fan has a Twickenham memory.

The World Rugby Union Museum is located in Twickenham Stadium and is a collection of the finest collection of rugby memorabilia in the world. It tells the history of the sport from its origins to the present day and includes interactive displays showcasing the history of William Webb Ellis.

Twickenham Stadium, located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world.

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Six Nations boost for Wales

Ross Moriarty delivered some welcome good news for Wales head coach Warren Gatland ahead of the Six Nations on Thursday as it was revealed the backrow forward will return to Gloucester’s first team on Friday.

The 23-year-old returned from the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand last year after suffering nerve damage in his back.

And he will be making only his second appearance in seven months when he lines up in the European Challenge Cup clash with French side Agen.

“He’s (Moriarty) fit and training again,” Gloucester backs coach Tim Taylor said.

Should the 17-times capped Moriarty come through unscathed it will ease Gatland’s problems in the back row as both experienced duo Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate are out for the whole of the tournament.

Lions No8 Taulupe Faletau is also unlikely to be back before late February or early March due to a knee injury.

Gatland also has problems in the backs as star centre Jonathan Davies is out for the season and wing Hallam Amos suffered an ankle injury in late December.

The Six Nations gets underway on February 3.

Six Nations 2018

Round one

Saturday February 3

Wales vs Scotland, Millennium Stadium, 2:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

France vs Ireland, Stade de France, 4:45pm local, Sunday 2:45am AEDT

Sunday February 4

Italy vs England, Stadio Olimpico, 3pm local, Monday 1am AEDT

Round two

Saturday February 10

Ireland vs Italy, Aviva Stadium, 2:15om local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

England vs Wales, Twickenham, 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT

Sunday February 11

Scotland vs France, Murrayfield Stadium, 3pm local, Monday 2am AEDT

Round three

Friday February 23

France vs Italy, Stade de France, 8pm local, Saturday 6am AEDT

Saturday February 24

Ireland vs Wales, Aviva Stadium, 2:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

Scotland vs England, Murrayfield Stadium, 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT

Round four

Saturday March 10

Ireland vs Scotland, Aviva Stadium, 2:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEDT

France vs England, Stade de France, 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT

Sunday March 11

Wales vs Italy, Millennium Stadium, 3pm local, Monday 2am AEDT

Round five

Saturday March 17

Italy vs Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, 12:30pm local, 10:30pm AEDT

England vs Ireland, Twickenham, 2:45pm local, Sunday 1:45am AEDT

Wales vs France, Millennium Stadium, 5pm local, Sunday 4am AEDT

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