The England coaching staff have come up with a novel plan in order to prepare for the atmosphere they are expecting at the Millennium Stadium.
The move comes after England struggled to cope with the conditions they experienced during the Six Nations in 2013. In a bid to counteract the cacophony of noise this time around coaching staff have installed loud speakers at their training ground this week.
The speakers have been turned up in order to imitate the noise they expect to be confronted with at the Millennium Stadium this week. Stuart Lancaster is hoping the move will help avoid another route like the one they were on the end of in 2013 when they went down 30-3.
This time Lancaster’s players will spend their final days preparing for the big 2015 Six Nations opener with loud speakers dotted around their training pitch replicating the type of din a capacity Welsh crowd creates in the Cardiff cauldron.
The novel move, according to England, will prepare them for the decibel levels they will encounter when the Welsh side run out for the big showdown and during the 80 minutes of action.
The noise expected during the game has been compared to the equivalent of a jet aircraft flying overhead at 50 feet. England believe that such a raucous noise prevents players from properly communicating with one another.
England have also been training under floodlights at Twickenham in a further bid to replicate the conditions they will encounter in Cardiff. The plans were revealed by fly-half George Ford who is set to start at 10 for England.
Ford admitted: “We’ve spoken about the noise already. I think they’ll be getting speakers in there and putting it as loud as it can go.
“I think it’s important because communication in the game is vital. We’ve spoken about that already.
“I wasn’t there last time, but the noise was a big factor by accounts. If you can’t hear each other it could potentially have a big impact.
“So we need to make sure we cover everything off in terms of that aspect.
“We’re trying to come up with a game plan and a strategy which is crystal clear and that everyone understands and is on the same page. It’s pretty simple.
“‘If it is hard to hear each other, we have other ways of communicating which will hopefully make us make the right plays.
“Without giving too much away we are going to have a set way we are going to play in offence. It’s going to be pretty simple, I think. The communication and between the nine, 10 and full-back and wingers is going to be pretty important.
“We’re the guys as half-backs who are running the game. So if it is too loud and we can’t hear each other, we might have to go about things a different way – putting the hand out for example, just to say we want the ball.”
Asked where he had appeared before which could come close to a hostile Millennium Stadium, Ford replied: “The noisiest I’ve played in was at Twickenham in the autumn.
“I don’t know about the most intimidating, probably growing up as an amateur in rugby league. You get the people screaming at you at the sideline!”
England must decide whether to insist upon the roof being left open, a move which would mean some of the sound dissipating. Under Six Nations rules, the two teams have to agree to it being shut.
Lancaster said: “The atmosphere there means that, in terms of on-field communication, it does put pressure on the players to see the full picture as often you can’t hear the calls.”