|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 towards 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 lots of gamers are missing game-time, with scrum-half Ben Youngs admitting there might be “teething issues”.
However, the defending champions are favourites to win once more this yr.
“The stress is on England,” Monye stated 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 towards Eire – dwell 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 reminiscences 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 help 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 possibility to start out 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 cause to hope for an additional surprising end result.
“I feel Scotland fancy themselves,” he stated.
“If I used to be to place myself in Scotland camp this week I would 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
The return of fly-half Russell from a shoulder damage is another excuse 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 assist from captain Stuart Hogg – might 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 feel 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’ll 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 event.
“England are nearly the forgotten ones,” he stated. “Everybody simply expects them to be up there. I put England as favourites as a result of they have Scotland, Italy and France at dwelling.”
|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 event fixtures|
Favourites isn’t all the time a tag that has suited England, with the latest instance a close to miss within the Autumn Nations Cup last towards a second-string France aspect.
A shedding bonus level earned towards Les Bleus within the 2020 Six Nations proved essential for England’s title win and the perimeters’ fourth-round assembly at Twickenham is more likely to be decisive this yr.
However Jones’s aspect should get previous Scotland first. The England head coach has already stated the burden of expectation could get “heavy” for his or her opponents on Saturday – the one 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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Andrew Cotter: A Calcutta Cup with out hundreds watching? Odd, to say the least, nevertheless it may assist ease in two vastly proficient, but very inexperienced inside centres in Ollie Lawrence and Cameron Redpath.
Not way back they had been England Below-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 probably 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 by way of grunt up entrance and attacking capability. And when you think about Lawrence a alternative 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 you can by no means actually be sure 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 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
- 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 one in all their final 21 dwelling video games within the Six Nations, drawing one and successful 19.
- They led the 2020 event for kicking metres (5,496m) and dominant tackles (116).
- Owen Farrell is simply 4 factors away from scoring 100 towards Scotland – they’d be the seventh nation he is scored a century of factors towards.
- Victory within the last recreation of final yr’s event 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 did not miss a minute within the 2020 event – Scotland contributed 4 of them: Stuart Hogg, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Blair Kinghorn.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Eire)
Contact judges: Pascal Gauzere (France) & Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Pleasure Neville (Eire)