Alex Dombrandt, playing for Wales in the 2017 Under-20s Six Nations, faced an England side including current team-mate Harry Randall (left) and Tom Curry
|Guinness Six Nations – England v Wales|
|Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 26 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Listen to match commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru; text commentary and highlights on BBC Sport website and app.|
England number eight Alex Dombrandt has never played a Six Nations game against Wales but knows very well the passion they will bring to Saturday’s match.
“I understand how much it means to the Welsh,” he told BBC Sport.
“Everyone picks up their game when they play England. It is going to be a great occasion at Twickenham.”
Born in Surrey, Dombrandt qualified for Wales as a resident student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
The hard-running back row played in all five games in the 2017 under-20s tournament, including a 37-21 defeat by an England side featuring Tom Curry and Harry Randall.
“It was a great experience for me and I really feel like I developed as a player,” he said. “It definitely helped me into the player I am today.”
Dombrandt was always going to base his career in England and signed for Harlequins in 2018, winning the Premiership title in 2021 and his first England cap.
“It was always about coming back to England,” he said. “I’m not Welsh, I’m English, so I’m looking forward to this weekend and hopefully getting quite a few caps playing for England.”
He started alongside Harlequins team-mate Marcus Smith in England’s win against Italy and believes their combination can continue to grow at the highest level.
“We have a great relationship on and off the pitch,” he said. “We want to take what we do at Quins to the international level.
“We understand each other’s game, the lines we want to run and the holes in the defence we want to try to exploit.
“We want to make a fast start and go after them. We want to impose ourselves on them.”
Dombrandt could come up against British and Irish Lions forward Taulupe Faletau, who has been called into Wales’ squad after recovering from injury.
“He’s a great player and has a great all-round game,” he said. “To challenge myself against one of the best number eights in the world is massively exciting.”
Six Nations Rugby Special will be on BBC Two from 18:00 GMT on Sunday, 27 February