Shocked England hit back at Ian Botham after cricket hero sledges Eddie Jones' side ahead of Wales' Six Nations clash

SHOCKED England have hit back at Ian Botham's surprise sledging.

The cricket legend turned on his country as he taunted Eddie Jones' squad for appearing to be 'unhappy' and told Wales that they were there for the taking in Cardiff.

England Ashes hero Beefy has switched allegiances ahead of Saturday's Six Nations showdown to support his Grand Slam-chasing grandson James, the Wales flanker.

Granddad Botham, whose son Liam played rugby for Cardiff, said: "I'm actually very happy to pull on that red shirt when they play England because obviously blood is thicker than water.

"I am a proud Englishman, but I go UK for that weekend. It is a UK match. I'm supporting Wales, of course I am.

"What grandfather wouldn't? That's the question I would put to people.

"And more importantly, I think England can be taken. I think Wales can take them at this moment in time because England don't look a happy camp to me, looking from the outside in.

"Whatever happens I want Jimbo to be part of a winning team, whether he's on the field, on the bench or in the grandstand.

"Let's be fair, people talk about cricket in England, but it's rugby in Wales, summer, winter, autumn, and spring. So you can see why Jimbo has always had such a passion for Wales. Long may it continue."

But hitting back at Beefy's bombs, England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot said: "It's strange how someone can look inside the Lensbury bubble and know how happy we are.


"We’re extremely happy. I haven’t experienced in these times how dynamic this environment is, there’s continual stimulation, ways of people interacting to create that feeling of a team environment, the buzz that isolation tries to keep us away from each other.

"What people mustn’t underestimate is that this is a competitive competition, you learn in defeats what you learn in victories, it doesn’t make it an unhappy camp.

"This is a camp where you learn, you learn to bring your best every moment of the day, we all do that. Scotland were competitive against us, we were more dominant and a lot more together in the Italian game, I expect an improvement this week.

"I don’t think we’re an unhappy camp, I think we’re a very determined camp."

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