England want to develop their scrum into a “ruthless” weapon in time for the World Cup as Wales provide another important test of its progress at Twickenham on Saturday.
A major improvement in the scrum was evident during the Six Nations, when it emerged as the most effective in the tournament just months after being statistically the worst among tier one sides.
It wobbled in the opening Summer Nations match in Cardiff, however, and England are looking to bounce back in the second instalment of the double header.
Adding to the stakes for Saturday’s showdown between the old rivals is that should England fall to a defeat of any description, they will slump to ninth in the global rankings – their lowest position since the standings were introduced in 2003.
“We want to have a ruthless scrum. England want to scrummage,” scrum coach Tom Harrison said.
“Joe Marler and Dan Cole are in the squad and those two players want to scrummage.
“What we’re working on is if it doesn’t go right or there is a problem, how can we solve it quickly?
“How can we be so ruthless that if a team tries to do something against us, we can solve the problem?
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) August 10, 2023
“Against Wales I thought there were some good bits with our scrum and some bits to improve.
“I hope you’ll see a pack that’s going to work and one that will show physicality.
“Everything we’re doing is building towards the World Cup and we want to have a good performance against Wales.”
England are fielding a team that is close to their strongest XV as preparations for their opener against Argentina on September 9 ratchet up.
Owen Farrell leads the side and is joined by fellow big guns Maro Itoje, Jamie George and Billy Vunipola, with Elliot Daly and Henry Arundell adding finishing ability on the wings.