Does Eddie Jones have a bit of Clough about him?

Shaun Edwards has described Eddie Jones as “great for rugby” ahead of Wales’ Six Nations showdown with England in Cardiff.

On Saturday, Wales can stop reigning champions England claiming their 16th successive win against all opponents.

But England boss Jones claimed earlier this week that he does not understand why the country have appeared “petrified” of playing Wales away from home.

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He also said that Welsh fans can throw daffodils at his players on Saturday, and Wales defence specialist Edwards has welcomed Jones’ approach to what is traditionally a full-blown contest.

Asked about the “petrified” claim, Edwards said: “That is just another way of Eddie throwing down a challenge to his players.

“It’s smart coaching. He is a clever bloke, is Eddie. It’s great for the game. You want characters in the game.

“You’ve seen it in the past with football managers like Brian Clough, people like that. They were a bit outspoken, weren’t they?

“It’s good for the game and good for you guys [the media] as well.

“Are there daffodils around this time of year? I don’t know. It feels a bit cold for daffodils!”

Wales, meanwhile, are preparing as if the Principality Stadium roof will be closed on Saturday.

Brian Clough is remembered with a statue in Nottingham and had a reputation as an outspoken maverick. Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport

Jones has said he is not bothered either way, although under Six Nations rules, both teams have to agree for it to be closed. If they do not, then it stays open.

Wales prefer the closed option, and Edwards added: “Eddie has said he isn’t bothered if it is open or closed. I like his attitude.

“That is the kind of bloke Eddie is. Good on him. He’s great for rugby.

“We are just waiting to see what they [England] say. It’s just an unusual situation where the opposition decide, but that’s the way it goes.”

Edwards confirmed No. 8 Taulupe Faletau will be available. The Bath forward has not played since suffering a knee injury on Christmas Eve, thus missing last weekend’s 33-7 victory over Italy in Rome.

Wales interim head coach Rob Howley was due to name his starting line-up on Thursday, with fly-half Dan Biggar, wing George North and lock Luke Charteris all current fitness concerns.

Biggar went off at half-time in Rome after taking a blow to his ribs, while North suffered a dead leg but played on and scored a late breakaway try.

Charteris, though, did not travel to Italy as he continued his recovery from a fractured hand.

Whichever combination Wales field, though, they face a huge task against an England team currently ranked second in the world and chasing a fourth successive Six Nations victory over their arch-rivals.

“They are the form team in world rugby at the moment on this fantastic unbeaten run,” Edwards added. “They averaged 33 points a game in 2016, so they are a very formidable attacking outfit.

“They have power runners to get over the advantage line and then intelligent rugby players at nine, 10 and 12, who get the ball to guys outside with the running ability. They have got exciting backs.

“But we have had the best defence at the last two World Cups, and if we get back to that sort of form, which we are slowly getting back to, we will be there to give them a game.

“England have got a lot of strength in depth. But, fortunately for us, they can only play 15.”

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