George glad 'genius' Farrell leading England

England prop Mako Vunipola has been ruled out of the Six Nations with an ankle ligament injury and is expected to return to his club side Saracens

England stunned Ireland 32-20 in their opener in Dublin before thrashing France 44-8 at Twickenham to move to the top of the Championship, with two bonus points giving them a two-point lead over second-placed Wales.

Hartley's unavailability has not been felt due to the barnstorming form of Jamie George, but former England and British and Lions hooker Lee Mears believes Hartley will reclaim the number two jersey when fit. "I never see him have a bad game and that's why he's one of the best players in the world, if not the best player in the world", George said.

Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards confirmed full-back Leigh Halfpenny, who has been out following a concussion, fly-half Rhys Patchell and prop Leon Brown were all able to join in for a large part of training on Wednesday.

"We will know more in terms of time frames following the surgery, but we're looking forward to welcoming him back into the squad".

Owen Farrell scores a try during the match against Australia at Twickenham in November 2018.

The Cardiff ground is renowned for creating one of the most electric atmospheres in world rugby and England must win there on Saturday week if they are to continue towards a Six Nations Grand Slam.

For those of us who watch 1970s hagiography on YouTube with tears in our eyes and find ourselves blurting out "Delme Thomas palms!" in supermarkets, the England head coach's remarks are sacrilege - but not even Gareth, JPR et al could win nine matches in a row, let alone 11 as this Welsh side have done.

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"We have to be aware that we did well against France but recognise that it wasn't the flawless performance", George said.

"We moved and put the ball in behind them".

"Wales have had a good run".

"I thought he guided the team around really, really well against Ireland, but I also thought Ben Youngs did a phenomenal job with the kicking game as well, our wingers got after it every single time".

"France was a Championship decider, the same in a fortnight's time".

"I think emotions are pretty high at the moment and we are still nine days away from the game".

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