Afternoon everybody from Cardiff, where I’m delighted to report given the wind and rain outside that the roof is shut. Although it would have made the kicking fun, so maybe that’s a shame.
What to make of today’s game then? I was here for the exact same fixture four years ago when Wales scraped a 13-6 win and let me assure you, it was no classic. Survivors from that fixture featuring today are thin on the ground, but the real question is how many of the England side turning out today in Cardiff will be in Steve Borthwick’s final 33-player squad when it’s announced on Monday (Wales’ players still have a few more weeks to impress Warren Gatland).
Some players in this England side of course are certainties to go to France – Freddie Steward, Ellis Genge and Will Stuart for example – but the real interest lies with those on the fringes of selection, namely Alex Dombrandt, David Ribbans, Guy Porter and Joe Marchant.
Match-winning performances here might be enough to change Steve Borthwick’s mind, although you sense that surely at this late stage his decision must already be made.
The Harlequins combination of Dombrandt, Danny Care and Marcus Smith are used to playing with more ball and width than we’ve seen under sides coached by Borthwick, so how they mesh that natural instinct with England’s tactics will be an area to watch.
There’s plenty of interesting calls as well in this Wales side, with Sam Costelow at fly-half and a couple of uncapped props in Corey Domachowski and Kieron Assiratti. But it’s the 6ft 5in centre Max Llewelyn who might make the biggest impression, paired in a super-sized midfield with George North.
Llewelyn, who will join Gloucester next season, was Cardiff’s players’ player of the season last year before signing for the Gallagher Premiership side.
All the build-up coming your way then over the next hour and a bit.