Edwards hopes to spark a hat-trick for Welsh

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Shaun Edwards hopes that people in Wales will be going to work on Monday smiling from ear to ear.

The possibility of winning a Triple Crown on English soil for the first time today is just part of a big weekend for Welsh sports fans.

Hours after the Twickenham showdown, Nathan Cleverly defends his world light-heavyweight title and tomorrow Cardiff take on Liverpool in the Carling Cup final at Wembley.

“There’s no doubt rugby plays a big part in the Welsh psyche and people go to work with a smile on their face when their team’s done well,” said Wales defensive coach Edwards.

“To win would be very rewarding for the team and for the whole of Wales.

“We’re just excited to play rugby on such a big stage and in such a big game. It’s probably the biggest game I’ve been involved in for a few years outside the Rugby World Cup.

“You know how big it is when people keep texting you asking for tickets.”

Wales start favourites following their victories over Ireland and Scotland, but Edwards added: “I’ve played Test rugby and when you are carrying that ball into the first collision or making the first tackle, you’re not thinking about who’s favourites. It’s of no consequence.”

Stuart Lancaster’s side have Owen Farrell playing at stand-off for the first time because of Charlie Hodgson’s finger injury in training.

Manu Tuilagi returns at centre to fill the vacancy created by Farrell’s switch and on that Edwards said: “It certainly makes the back line bigger and I’m sure whoever’s doing the defence for them will be pleased about that.

“He’s probably the best ball-carrying centre in England and he adds a lot of size and power to the back line, which is going to counteract something we have a lot of.”

As for 20-year-old Farrell’s new position, Edwards does not consider it weakens England, even though it was Hodgson’s charge-down tries that led to wins over Scotland and Italy.

Edwards said: “You’ve got a guy playing at fly-half who recently won the Grand Final in the English championship in that position. I’m sure he will look back at that game and it will give him confidence.

“Every time Owen seems to get into a team, people ask if he will be able to take it in his stride and he does.

“Everything that’s thrown at him, he just responds to it with great maturity.”