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Jake Ball

Jake Ball in training with Wales

Ball relishing chance to impress

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Jake Ball can’t wait for the action to begin when he starts for Wales against England in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match at a sold-out Principality Stadium.

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Ball is one of three changes to Warren Gatland’s side as they prepare to meet rivals England for the second time in the space of six days.

The 28-year-old has had his fair share of injuries in the past and will be hoping his luck has changed going into the upcoming World Cup in Japan.

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Ball has recently come back from a foot problem which he picked up in the 2019 Six Nations campaign, but he is now back fighting fit.

“It’s really down to me to put my best foot forward this weekend and try and get the result with the team as well,” Ball said.

“It’s the best squad I’ve been involved in. I think we’re in a great place. I think our depth is the best it’s been. It’s a very exciting group of players.”

Ball knows all about the pain of injuries and has missed two straight Guinness PRO14 finals with his region the Scarlets due to time on the sidelines.

Wales’ 33-19 defeat by England at Twickenham last Sunday saw fly-half Gareth Anscombe suffer a serious knee injury which will rule him out of the World Cup.

Ball said: “I was gutted for Gareth to be honest. To do all the training we’ve done in Switzerland and then get injured is heartbreaking.”

Ball went on to say how injuries happen in rugby.

“That’s the nature of the beast. That’s rugby and there is always that danger of getting injured. You can get injured on the training field just as easily as you can in a game,” he said.

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff about not playing players in warm-up games and stuff like this. You’ve got to play to play at your best.”

When asked about who could stamp their authority on the World Cup, Ball said he believes Aaron Wainwright will have a strong campaign.

Dragons flanker Wainwright started against England last weekend and made a total of 20 tackle attempts at Twickenham.

Ball liked what he saw from the 21-year-old.

“I’ve been pretty impressed with Aaron. In fairness to him I thought he had a great game last weekend in tough conditions,” Ball said.

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Ball relishing chance to impress
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Ball relishing chance to impress
Ball relishing chance to impress
Ball relishing chance to impress
Ball relishing chance to impress
Ball relishing chance to impress
Ball relishing chance to impress