Welsh star Warburton has experienced some of his greatest rugby moments against England, but knows this Saturday in Cardiff will be something totally different.
“It’s always a big scalp if you can beat England because they are a great team,” said Warburton, the former skipper. “They are deservedly tagged as the best team in the northern hemisphere.
“It’s a fair judgement to compare them to the All Blacks right now – that’s how good they are.
“If you are Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France or Italy in the Six Nations, the biggest game is England.”
Warburton’s successes against the Red Rose have involved sealing the Triple Crown at Twickenham in 2012, thrashing them 30-3 in Cardiff a year later to bank the Six Nations title, and land the famous World Cup victory over Stuart Lancaster’s team in 2015.
And now as Jones’ men prepare to arrive in Cardiff looking to extend their winning streak to 16 matches, back-rower Warburton says it is pointless trying to downplay the magnitude of the 2017 fixture.
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Sam Warburton has been part of some memorable clashes between England and Wales throughout the years
“It will be a massive, massive game, a huge occasion for everyone involved in rugby in Wales,” said Warburton.
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“When you chat to players from those countries, that’s how they feel. They really prioritise that match because everyone just wants to beat England. I guess that’s due to the success they have had in the past and what they are going through now.
“It’s going to take a huge game from us to get a win out of that match and it will be one of the biggest games of the championship for sure.”
A passionate Welshman but a level-headed character, Warburton is always cool under pressure, so it’s unusual to hear him speak so openly about his country’s rivalry with England.
But the game between the two sides is like no other Six Nations fixture in the patriotic fervour it creates, which is why the Principality Stadium sold out months ago, despite tickets going for hundreds of pounds.
Sam Warburton admits Wales will be facing a tough England side
England coach Jones has already stoked the fires ahead of the game, insisting his team should always beat a side who have just three million people from which to choose. It was the start of the usual tasty pre-match rhetoric which always accompanies this fixture.
“As players during the build-up to Wales and England games we know it’s the one the fans look forward to the most. I’m not going to hide from that fact,” Warburton added.
“These are the type of fixtures you want to be involved in. You just love being in the cauldron of the Principality Stadium against a team like England.
“It’s always a massive Test, one of the toughest games you will play in. We know we have got to be extremely good to beat England.”
Wales face England as Six Nations table-toppers following their 33-7 success over Italy in Rome. Warburton, who was replaced as captain by Alun Wyn Jones for the start of the tournament, produced a superb individual performance at the Stadio Olimpico.
Eddie Jones has already started the mind games with Wales
Rob Howley’s side know they’ll need to improve on that display if they are to down England, but with a full house sure to provide Wales with plenty of backing, the men in red will be up for the challenge.
So, what are the chances of Wales being the team to end England’s winning streak? A six-day turnaround and injury concerns over George North, Dan Biggar and Taulupe Faletau are a concern, but Warburton is nothing if not relentlessly upbeat.
“We have got four training sessions to try and get things right, so I’m really positive about what we can achieve this week. It’s certainly a crucial game,” he said
“Our record against England in the Six Nations isn’t that great. I think we have lost the last three Six Nations games. They have been one of our toughest opponents as results show over the past few years and we know we are in for another hard game on Saturday.”