There is a rising whiff of New Zealand about the seismic Six Nations clash this weekend at Twickenham - a sub-text they cannot ignore.

England are unbeaten under the command of the rumbustious Eddie Jones but face their biggest inquiry as Warren Gatland and his Welsh side bring their proven style which has brought them three wins in their last six visits to Twickers.

A range of Welsh rugby legends have urged Gatland not to alter his team's direct style while others like former England coach Clive Woodward have championed the manner that Wales have kept their standards.

It will be a full house at Twickenham with supporters blasting into full voice and song to urge their sides to victory.


Underneath there will be a bubbling inquiry about New Zealand. It is inescapable.

Welsh chairman Gareth Davies spoke about it as his nation prepared for the Six Nations showdown amidst pleas not to sacrifice results for panache. He had a successful test career but also looks at the record books which show Wales last win against the All Blacks in 1953.

Davies believes an All Black scalp in June when Wales visit would trump a fourth Six Nations triumph for Gatland and his men.

"I'd trade beating New Zealand for losing to England," he said.

"Gone are the days where it's all about beating England, we need a wider perspective than that. A New Zealand scalp would be the highlight of 2016."

You sense deep down that Gatland would concur and it would also highlight his chances of being picked to coach the Lions when they tour New Zealand in 2017.