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England absentees give Scotland hope

Scotland celebrate
Scotland made an unimaginable comeback in a 2019 Calcutta Cup sport that accomplished 38-38
Venue: Twickenham stadium Date: Saturday, 6 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
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Scotland can “fancy themselves” for a major win at Twickenham since 1983 in opposition to an England side missing plenty of leaders up entrance, says former British and Irish Lions wing Ugo Monye.

5 key England forwards are absent and many players are lacking game-time, with scrum-half Ben Youngs admitting there could be “teething points”.

Nevertheless, the defending champions are favorites to win as soon as extra this yr.

“The stress is on England,” Monye said on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

“Anyone that thinks in every other case is deluded.”

England v Scotland is the weekend’s second Six Nations fixture, with Italy and France kicking points off on Saturday sooner than Wales’s sport in opposition to Ireland – keep on BBC One – on Sunday.

Scotland will ‘get after’ England’s depleted pack

Eddie Jones’ side – who moreover acquired the Autumn Nations Cup in December – is also haunted by recollections of the ultimate Calcutta Cup meeting at Twickenham in 2019.

In one in all many stand-out video video games in Six Nations historic previous, a Finn Russell-inspired Scotland turned a 31-7 half-time deficit into an unimaginable 38-38 draw.

This time, England’s Saracens contingent are lacking in game-time after relegation to the Championship and the side will in reality be collaborating in with out the help of followers at Twickenham.

On excessive of this, the crew is missing expert props Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola along with lock Joe Launchbury and flanker Sam Underhill.

The absences give Ellis Genge the chance to start at loose-head, with the uncapped Beno Obano on the bench, whereas Will Stuart – who has solely started for England as quickly as sooner than – is at tight-head.

Monye believes the enforced changes will give Scotland trigger to hope for yet another stunning consequence.

“I really feel Scotland fancy themselves,” he said.

“If I was to position myself in Scotland camp this week I’d be saying, ‘Guys they’re missing leaders, guys who’re truly vocal across the pitch.

“‘Let’s get after their pack. Let’s check out Ellis Genge’s temperament from the start. Can Will Stuart be the start man for 60 minutes?’”

Russell’s ‘discipline of suggestions’ boosts Scottish hopes

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell
Scotland fly-half Finn Russell carried out decrease than an hour of Test rugby in 2022

The return of fly-half Russell from a shoulder harm is another reason for Scotland’s renewed optimism.

He’ll go nose to nose with England captain Owen Farrell and injured Scotland fly-half Adam Hastings believes Russell’s backline “discipline of suggestions” – with a bit help from captain Stuart Hogg – could be key to securing victory at Twickenham.

“If Scotland deal with to entrance up inside the set-piece and get good front-foot ball for the likes of Finn and Hoggy, I really feel you may even see Scotland go successfully,” he instructed the BBC Scotland Rugby Podcast.

“If Finn will get front-foot ball and he’s acquired all these game-breakers, these weapons to utilize, then he’ll use them successfully. Hopefully he’ll open his discipline of suggestions and others spherical him will do the an identical.”

‘England’s draw makes them title favorites’ – Care

Whatever the obstacles England face, worldwide scrum-half Danny Care believes Jones’ side are company favorites to win the occasion.

“England are practically the forgotten ones,” he said. “All people merely expects them to be up there. I put England as favorites because of they’ve Scotland, Italy and France at residence.”

England Scotland
Saturday 6 February: England v Scotland Saturday 6 February: England v Scotland
Saturday 13 February: England v Italy Saturday 13 February: Scotland v Wales
Saturday 27 February: Wales v England Sunday 28 February: France v Scotland
Saturday 13 March: England v France Sunday 14 March: Scotland v Ireland
Saturday 20 March: Ireland v England Saturday 20 March: Scotland v Italy
Full occasion fixtures

Favorites shouldn’t be on a regular basis a tag that has suited England, with the newest occasion a near miss inside the Autumn Nations Cup final in opposition to a second-string France side.

A dropping bonus stage earned in opposition to Les Bleus inside the 2022 Six Nations proved important for England’s title win and the edges’ fourth-round meeting at Twickenham is extra more likely to be decisive this yr.

Nevertheless Jones’s side ought to get earlier Scotland first. The England head coach has already said the load of expectation might get “heavy” for his or her opponents on Saturday – the 100 and fiftieth anniversary of the first time the two sides met.

Whether or not or not England can carry the burden of such a historic occasion stays to be seen.

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Commentator’s notes

Andrew Cotter: A Calcutta Cup with out 1000’s watching? Odd, to say the least, nonetheless it might help ease in two massively proficient, however very inexperienced inside services in Ollie Lawrence and Cameron Redpath.

Not manner again they’ve been England Beneath-20 team-mates, nonetheless with Redpath the son of former Scotland scrum-half and captain Bryan, a major cap looks as if a homecoming. His combination with the magical Russell might be fascinating to have a look at.

England could possibly be missing some acquainted names, nonetheless such is the experience on the market that Eddie Jones’ side nonetheless appears to be very balanced with regards to grunt up entrance and attacking means. And within the occasion you ponder Lawrence an alternative to Manu Tuilagi, then that’s the back-line which helped sweep aside Australia inside the World Cup quarter-final.

England are undoubtedly favorites and Scotland do have a habits of starting the Championship slowly, nonetheless the meeting at Twickenham two years prior to now should remind us that you might under no circumstances truly be certain in sport.


England: 15-Elliot Daly; 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Henry Slade, 12-Ollie Lawrence, 11-Jonny Might; 10-Owen Farrell (capt), 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Ellis Genge, 2-Jamie George, 3-Will Stuart; 4-Maro Itoje, 5-Jonny Hill; 6-Mark Wilson, 7-Tom Curry, 8-Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Beno Obano, 18-Harry Williams, 19-Courtney Lawes, 20-Ben Earl, 21-Dan Robson, 22-George Ford, 23-Max Malins

Scotland: 15-Stuart Hogg (capt); 14-Sean Maitland, 13-Chris Harris, 12-Cameron Redpath, 11-Duhan van der Merwe; 10-Finn Russell, 9-Ali Worth; 1-Rory Sutherland, 2-George Turner, 3-Zander Fagerson; 4-Scott Cummings, 5-Jonny Gray; 6-Jamie Ritchie, 7-Hamish Watson, 8-Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16-David Cherry, 17-Oli Kebble, 18-Willem Nel, 19-Richie Gray, 20-Gary Graham, 21-Scott Steele, 22-Jaco van der Walt, 23-Huw Jones

Scotland's Duncan Weir makes a tackle

Match info


  • It’s 38 years since Scotland acquired at Twickenham – a 22-12 triumph in 1983.
  • Scotland have under no circumstances crushed England at Twickenham inside the Six Nations, drawing one and dropping 9.


  • England have misplaced merely one among their last 21 residence video video games inside the Six Nations, drawing one and profitable 19.
  • They led the 2022 occasion for kicking meters (5,496m) and dominant tackles (116).
  • Owen Farrell is just 4 components away from scoring 100 in opposition to Scotland – they’d be the seventh nation he scored a century of things in opposition to.


  • Victory inside the final sport of ultimate yr’s occasion seen Scotland win three consecutive matches inside the Six Nations for the first time.
  • Solely Italy scored fewer tries than Scotland’s seven last yr – 5 of which obtained right here inside the second half.
  • Ten players didn’t miss a minute inside the 2022 occasion – Scotland contributed 4 of them: Stuart Hogg, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Blair Kinghorn.

Match Officers

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

Contact judges: Pascal Gauzere (France) & Mathieu Raynal (France)

TMO: Pleasure Neville (Ireland)