You'll get smashed! Wales hero Davies in blast at England pack ahead of showdown
Big hitter: Dan Lydiate slams into Scotland
Jonathan Davies has ignited cross-border tensions with England ahead of Wales's visit to Twickenham on Saturday week by boldly declaring that the visitors can defy a long tradition and 'smash' their rivals up front.
The former Wales fly-half and BBC commentator – rather than his namesake, the current centre – has dismissed England's new-look pack as overwhelmingly inferior to the more experienced unit which Warren Gatland will unleash.
While the established routine is for creative Welsh sides to find themselves besieged by a big, tough set of English forwards, Davies is adamant the pattern can be overturned this time.
He feels that if it comes to an arm-wrestle in the next round of the RBS Six Nations, when the two unbeaten nations go head to head, it will be Wales who prosper.
'I don't think we've gone to Twickenham and out-muscled them before, but the side we've got now could go to Twickenham and absolutely smash them physically,' said Davies.
'That English pack does not strike fear into anyone. They are a good club side who are growing together, but there isn't anyone outstanding in there.
'Tom Croft will have a go at our lineout but our back row is better, our second row is better, our front row is bigger and our centres are bigger.
'We could absolutely go to town on them. I don't think the England forwards are as dominant as they have been.'
As was the case in the recent clashes with Scotland and Italy, England's forwards will face a major experience deficit against Wales, whatever the exact make-up of the two packs.
Growing together: England have won twice under captain Chris Robshaw (left)
In particular, Gatland can call upon ample Lions pedigree in the front row, through props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones, while Matthew Rees is in contention for a comeback at hooker.
Aside from what he sees as an unusual imbalance up front, Davies cannot identify any way in which Stuart Lancaster's team can hope to contain and overcome Wales, adding: 'England are a young team and they have shown a lot of spirit. Defensively they are solid, but offensively they haven't created anything yet.
'I spoke to Stuart Lancaster before the tournament and he wanted to play an expansive game with Ben Youngs dictating play, but that hasn't happened.'
Echoing Davies's confident mood ahead of the match, former Wales scrum-half Robert Jones was equally underwhelmed by what he saw from England during their away win over Italy, which was high on spirit but low on dash and daring.
Namesake: Wales centre Jonathan Davies (right) shares a name with a legend
'England did show character, but the game was very poor – the first half in particular was dreadful,' he said. 'The rugby from England had no conviction. I appreciate that it was wet and cold but you still just expect a bit more from them. They are a young side looking to impress with a coach who is trying to stamp his authority on the game.
'Looking ahead, I wouldn't be too worried from what I saw (of England).'
England have added Northampton prop Paul Doran-Jones to their squad as injury cover for Bath's David Wilson, who has been sidelined with a broken jaw.
One player who has made a strong impression for England is their new No 8 Ben Morgan. Now the Scarlets rookie appears destined to sign for Gloucester, enabling him to return to the county where he grew up.
The West Country club have been in talks with the Welsh region for some time and it is understood that a deal will soon be finalised.