Phillips in confident mood

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Phillips in confident mood

Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips claims their is a huge amount of confidence in the Welsh camp ahead of their clash against England on Saturday.

The defending champions began title defence with a 26-13 win over Scotland at Murrayfield last week and now go into Saturday’s game in Cardiff as the bookmakers’ favourites.

While Martin Johnson’s men are expected to provide a tougher challenge, Phillips believes the depth of quality in the side gives Wales the advantage.

“We’ve got to be confident after the way we won on Sunday,” said Phillips. “But England will be a tough match.

“It is the biggest game on the calendar and they will be up for it. But we’ve got enough firepower to win – we want to be on their case all the time.

“It will be a nice tag to have, going in against them as favourites. It will be a tough first 20 minutes against them but if we come out like we did against Scotland it will be great.

Scots suffer Hines blow

Scotland lock Nathan Hines has been ruled out his side’s clash against France in Paris this Saturday.

The Perpignan man is set to miss the majority of the tournament after being told his knee injury requires surgery.

Meanwhile, coach Frank Hadden has delayed the naming of his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash to allow Geoff Cross and Simon Webster further time recover from concussion.

A decision on prop Cross and winger Webster will be taken on Wednesday morning ahead of Hadden’s team announcement.

Punter backs Wales big time

A punter from Northern Ireland has put £20 000 on Wales to beat England on Saturday.

Leading British bookmakers Ladbrokes cut their odds on Wales from 2/9 to 1/5 after taking the bet.

“Confidence is very high in the valleys at the moment and punters are licking their lips about the prospect of another Welsh victory,” said Ladbrokes spokesman Robin Hutchison. “Even at such short prices as 2/9 or 1/5, wagers like this will take their toll alongside the thousands of tenners (ten pound notes) and twenties we are taking in Welsh shops.”

“We don’t know if the punter is a Welshman living in Northern Ireland or a super confident local who thinks they’re a good thing.”

The bet is the biggest Ladbrokes have received for any of the Six Nations games thus far. If things go his way, the internet customer stands to win nearly £4,500 pounds, on top of his original bet.

This thread will be updated throughout the day.