Wales hooker Ken Owens warns England to expect no less intensity at empty Principality Stadium

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Source : Sky Sports

Wales hooker Ken Owens has warned England to expect no less intensity at an empty Principality Stadium than if there were 70,000 Welsh fans screaming at them. Eddie Jones says his England side are suffering from a drop in aggression evident across rugby and football due to the coronavirus-enforced absence of spectators at grounds.

“I think the two games we’ve played have been really physical, top-end Test matches,” Owens said. “It feels exactly at the level we’ve had in previous years playing in Six Nations, how Test rugby should be played.”

“People have heard me singing the anthem out of tune, which hasn’t been great.” he added. “It is different. In the Ireland game all the pyrotechnics stopped and then there was this deathly silence, which was almost surreal. You didn’t know what to make of it. It obviously does have an effect not having a crowd because you feed off the energy of the crowd and that atmosphere pushes on.”

“I can probably see what he (Jones) is on about to a certain degree. Back-to-back efforts, especially defensively, and a couple of big hits, if you get a tackle on the front foot you are feeding off the energy of the crowd.” Owens continued. “But it’s something we’ve all got to deal with and learn to adapt. We’ve had enough time and everybody’s in the same boat. As a professional player, there’s no real excuse. You have to find your own motivation, that energy to play at the intensity needed in Test level.”

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