The first round fixture list which handed Rob Howley’s side a Sunday game in Rome to start with put them 24 hours behind England in terms of recovery.
So Wales’s solution, after taking a specially chartered jet back to the Principality straight after the game, was to send the squad into numbing cryotherapy chambers in the hope of reviving their battered bodies. It was an encounter with misery but Wales believe it has set them up to head into the England showdown fully loaded.
“We got back after 1.30am and it was straight into the ice chamber – although it was frosty outside anyway. It was a nightmare but it was worthwhile in terms of the boys’ recovery,” said scrum-half Rhys Webb.
“We’re in good shape. There are a lot of smiles on faces leading into the game. I’ve been unfortunate a few times against England but we can take a lot of confidence out of the autumn internationals and last weekend against Italy.”
Webb’s Six Nations record is an oddity. He has never won against England but never lost to any of the other five teams.
Rhys Webb has never tasted victory against England
Wales head coach Rob Howley will be hoping to build on Wales' opening weekend win against Italy
This will be his fourth shot at England but, having missed the World Cup victory through injury, he has yet to savour the special taste of victory over Wales’s arch-rivals.
He has an inkling though of how it would feel having triumphed over England at under-18s level.
“Wales v England was always a massive fixture for me growing up. The streets were bouncing and it was a great occasion for the fans,” he said.
“I never went but I watched them on the TV in my house. Scott Gibbs’s try at Wembley stands out for me as the best one. I had the full kit on and I was jumping up and down.
“It did feel a little bit different when we beat them at junior level but I try not to think about it in the same way now. I don’t get myself worked up.
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Wales beat Italy 33-7 in Rome
I keep calm and just enjoy it. I try to think of it as just another game only just a little bit noisier!”
After being invalided out of the autumn Tests in the opening game against Australia, Webb was back ahead of schedule from his ankle issue last month for the Ospreys and feels he is approaching his best form.
“I was meant to go for away in Dubai but we thought it might delay my recovery so I had to sacrifice my week in the sun to get myself back,” he said.
His pace is ideal for the wider game Wales are aspiring to play – although he sounds a word of caution that England’s pressing defence might lead them to apply the brake too on Saturday.
“We want to play some rugby and score some tries – we are trying to evolve our game – but there is a time and place for it. There are periods when it’s not a good idea to throw it around willy-nilly and when it is about control,” he said.
The 28-year-old will play an important role in that judgement along with his half-back partner. Whichever way Wales go at No10 – Dan Biggar or Sam Davies – they will have a smooth half-back partnership with both Ospreys.
“I’m happy to play with either of them. I’m lucky to have played with them at the Ospreys and they are both very similar characters – they are both very vocal on and off the field,” he smiled.
Webb hails from Wales’s most productive rugby nursery – Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend. Brynteg’s old boys include Jack Matthews, JPR Williams and Gavin Henson – as well as Wales’s caretaker coach Rob Howley.
“He was an idol of mine growing up,” said Webb.
Webb’s name is alongside Howley’s on the school’s Wall of Honour now along with one of his Wales jerseys. He has come a long way but beating England in a Test match in front of a packed Principality Stadium would complete his journey.