Billy's back for England!

Mar 10, 2017, 00:34
Billy's back for England!

In that regard the most influential name on the England team sheet, which includes predictable returns to the starting XV for Jack Nowell, Jonathan Joseph and Ben Youngs, may well prove to be the loosehead prop Joe Marler, looking after the No1 jersey on the occasion of his 50th cap.

Scotland made only one change to the side which ended a 10-year losing run to Wales, restoring Hamish Watson on the openside flank for the injured John Hardie.

Cornell du Preez takes Watson's place on the bench and will make his Test debut if he comes on at Twickenham.

ENGLAND: M Brown (Harlequins); J Nowell (Exeter), J Joseph (Bath), O Farrell (Saracens), E Daly (Wasps); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton, capt), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), M Itoje (Saracens), J Haskell (Wasps), N Hughes (Wasps).

Replacements: George, M Vunipola, Sinckler, Wood, B Vunipola, Care, Te'o, Anthony Watson.

England on Tuesday appeared to reveal their team selection against Scotland when the written contents of a whiteboard positioned at the side of their training pitch was captured by a photographer.

England may be on the brink of equalling a world record and within sight of retaining their Six Nations title but coach Eddie Jones was in an oddly chippy mood yesterday.

"The Scottish back line is perhaps the best attacking force in the tournament, but it's far easier to do that off a platform provided by a mighty pack".

"The odds are that England will move on to 18 wins in a row and the visitors' long run of defeats at Twickenham will continue".

Nathan Jones has welcomed the vote of confidence from Eddie Jones after being selected ahead of World Rugby Player of the Year nominee Billy Vunipola for England's Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland this weekend, and hopes that he can seize what could be his last chance to impress in this year's Six Nations. Owen just ran into someone at training. "He'll be all right, possibly".

"Nathan [Hughes] is going really well for us. There's a lot to play for and several reasons why we should be able to get up for this game", Cotter said at the team announcement.

"Scotland's a well-coached side and Vern Cotter is a good rugby coach so they will participate in the spirit of the game", he said.

Scotland have not beaten England in their past eight attempts. The record was set recently, from August 2015 to October 2016.

No matter that, if Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff on Friday evening, England could end up clinching the championship a week early if they see off the Scots. Scotland are seeking their first win at England's headquarters since 1983 and a first Triple Crown since 1990.