Six Nations 2021: England favourites however Scotland fancy their possibilities – preview & group information

Six Nations 2021: England favourites however Scotland fancy their possibilities – preview & group information

Scotland celebrate
Scotland made an unbelievable comeback in a 2019 Calcutta Cup recreation that completed 38-38
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 6 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Protection: Hearken to commentary on BBC Radio 5 Stay and BBC Radio Scotland; Stay textual content commentary and video highlights on the BBC Sport web site and app.

Scotland can “fancy themselves” for a primary win at Twickenham since 1983 in opposition to an England aspect lacking a number of leaders up entrance, says former British and Irish Lions wing Ugo Monye.

5 key England forwards are absent and plenty of gamers are missing game-time, with scrum-half Ben Youngs admitting there may very well be “teething issues”.

Nonetheless, the defending champions are favourites to win once more this yr.

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

“Anybody that thinks in any other case is deluded.”

England v Scotland is the weekend’s second Six Nations fixture, with Italy and France kicking issues off on Saturday earlier than Wales’s recreation in opposition to Eire – reside on BBC One – on Sunday.

Scotland will ‘get after’ England’s depleted pack

Eddie Jones’ aspect – who additionally received the Autumn Nations Cup in December – could also be haunted by recollections of the final Calcutta Cup assembly at Twickenham in 2019.

In one of many stand-out video games in Six Nations historical past, a Finn Russell-inspired Scotland turned a 31-7 half-time deficit into an unbelievable 38-38 draw.

This time, England’s Saracens contingent are missing in game-time after relegation to the Championship and the aspect will after all be taking part in with out the assist of followers at Twickenham.

On high of this, the group is lacking skilled props Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola in addition to lock Joe Launchbury and flanker Sam Underhill.

The absences give Ellis Genge the prospect to begin at loose-head, with the uncapped Beno Obano on the bench, whereas Will Stuart – who has solely began for England as soon as earlier than – is at tight-head.

Monye believes the enforced modifications will give Scotland purpose to hope for one more surprising end result.

“I believe Scotland fancy themselves,” he mentioned.

“If I used to be to place myself in Scotland camp this week I might be saying, ‘Guys they’re lacking leaders, guys who’re actually vocal around the pitch.

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

Russell’s ‘field of tips’ boosts Scottish hopes

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell
Scotland fly-half Finn Russell performed lower than an hour of Check rugby in 2020

The return of fly-half Russell from a shoulder damage is one more reason for Scotland’s renewed optimism.

He’ll go face to face with England captain Owen Farrell and injured Scotland fly-half Adam Hastings believes Russell’s backline “field of tips” – with a bit of assist from captain Stuart Hogg – may very well be key to securing victory at Twickenham.

“If Scotland handle to entrance up within the set-piece and get good front-foot ball for the likes of Finn and Hoggy, I believe you may see Scotland go nicely,” he informed the BBC Scotland Rugby Podcast.

“If Finn will get front-foot ball and he is acquired all these game-breakers, these weapons to make use of, then he will use them nicely. Hopefully he’ll open his field of tips and others round him will do the identical.”

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

Regardless of the obstacles England face, worldwide scrum-half Danny Care believes Jones’ aspect are agency favourites to win the match.

“England are nearly the forgotten ones,” he mentioned. “Everybody simply expects them to be up there. I put England as favourites as a result of they have 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 Eire
Saturday 20 March: Eire v England Saturday 20 March: Scotland v Italy
Full match fixtures

Favourites will not be all the time a tag that has suited England, with the newest instance their near-embarrassment within the Autumn Nations Cup last in opposition to a second-string France aspect.

A shedding bonus level earned in opposition to Les Bleus within the 2020 Six Nations proved essential for England’s title win and the perimeters’ fourth-round assembly at Twickenham might nicely be decisive this yr.

However Jones’ aspect should get previous Scotland first. The England head coach has already mentioned the load of expectation might get “heavy” for his or her opponents on Saturday – the a hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the primary time the 2 sides met.

Whether or not England can carry the burden of such a historic event 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, however it would possibly assist ease in two massively gifted, but very inexperienced inside centres in Ollie Lawrence and Cameron Redpath.

Not way back they have been England Beneath-20 team-mates, however with Redpath the son of former Scotland scrum-half and captain Bryan, a primary cap seems like a homecoming. His mixture with the magical Russell will likely be fascinating to look at.

England is perhaps lacking some acquainted names, however such is the expertise accessible that Eddie Jones’ aspect nonetheless appears very balanced when it comes to grunt up entrance and attacking means. And in the event you think about Lawrence a substitute for Manu Tuilagi, then that is the back-line which helped sweep apart Australia within the World Cup quarter-final.

England are actually favourites and Scotland do have a behavior of beginning the Championship slowly, however the assembly at Twickenham two years in the past ought to remind us that you would be able to by no means actually be sure in sport.


England: 15-Elliot Daly; 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Henry Slade, 12-Ollie Lawrence, 11-Jonny Could; 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 Value; 1-Rory Sutherland, 2-George Turner, 3-Zander Fagerson; 4-Scott Cummings, 5-Jonny Grey; 6-Jamie Ritchie, 7-Hamish Watson, 8-Matt Fagerson

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

Scotland's Duncan Weir makes a tackle

Match information


  • It’s 38 years since Scotland received at Twickenham – a 22-12 triumph in 1983.
  • Scotland have by no means overwhelmed England at Twickenham within the Six Nations, drawing one and shedding 9.


  • England have misplaced simply considered one of their previous 21 residence video games within the Six Nations, drawing one and successful 19.
  • They led the 2020 match for kicking metres (5,496m) and dominant tackles (116).
  • Owen Farrell is simply 4 factors away from scoring 100 in opposition to Scotland – they’d be the seventh nation he is scored a century of factors in opposition to.


  • Victory within the last recreation of final yr’s match noticed Scotland win three consecutive matches within the Six Nations for the primary time.
  • Solely Italy scored fewer tries than Scotland’s seven final yr – 5 of which got here within the second half.
  • Ten gamers didn’t miss a minute within the 2020 match – Scotland contributed 4 of them: Stuart Hogg, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Blair Kinghorn.

Match officers

Referee: Andrew Brace (Eire)

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

TMO: Pleasure Neville (Eire)

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