England and Scotland will conflict for the 141st time in Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown at Twickenham, the place Steve Borthwick shall be trying to make a profitable begin to his reign as the brand new Red Rose head coach.
Here, the PA information company examines 5 speaking factors heading into the Guinness Six Nations collision.
After practically a decade of English dominance, the oldest rivalry in worldwide rugby has been tipped on its head since Scotland triumphed at Murrayfield in 2018.
The Scots have gained three of their 5 conferences since and in addition engineered a shocking 38-38 attract London 4 years in the past, throughout which they fought again from a 31-0 deficit.
To name it a banana pores and skin fixture for England is to downplay the expertise in Scotland’s aspect and having stormed Twickenham for the primary time since 1983 of their most up-to-date go to, there shall be no scarcity of self-belief.
Borthwick has reduce a statesmanlike determine since changing Eddie Jones final month and following a 2022 of dismal underachievement, followers are looking forward to the brand new head coach to carry the gloom hanging over English rugby.
The former Leicester boss has been given a hospital cross by Jones, inheriting a muddled group of gamers looking for an id.
In a welcome departure from his predecessor, there was no point out of this autumn’s World Cup with Borthwick selecting type gamers who’ve been given clear directions within the hope of wrestling again the Calcutta Cup.
Life past Manu
For the earlier two teaching regimes, Manu Tuilagi has been central to the sport plan with solely his prolonged succession of accidents leading to omission from the workforce.
Seeing a participant who is just not working as his explosive finest, Borthwick has taken the courageous choice to depart him out of the 23 altogether by selecting a centre partnership of Owen Farrell and Joe Marchant.
What the midfield loses in punch, it positive factors in dynamism. One reference to the Jones period stays, nonetheless, with Marcus Smith and Farrell persevering with within the contentious playmaking axis that has but to persuade.
Scotland could also be lacking 5 members of the Lions squad that toured South Africa in 2023 in Ali Price, Chris Harris, Zander Fagerson, Rory Sutherland and Hamish Watson – the primary two neglected on type, the others on damage grounds – however they discipline a aspect bristling with attacking promise.
Ben White’s inclusion forward of Price at scrum-half rewards his type for London Irish and he’ll deliver tempo, whereas Huw Jones is a larger offensive menace than Harris at outdoors centre, however it’s swashbuckling stalwarts Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg who will actually put England on edge.
There will be no doubting Scotland’s means to choose off main opposition, however their failure to sew collectively massive wins within the Six Nations has been a recurring theme that has prevented them from difficult for the title.
For the final two years they’ve toppled England within the opener, elevating hopes that their seek for a primary Championship crown since 1999 is a real risk, solely to then fall away. Until they discover consistency, success will proceed to elude them.