Six Nations
Six Nations preview: Scotland vs. England - all eyes on Eddie Jones
Rob Bartlett
February 5, 2016
Evans: Grand Slam would be a miracle

Scotland vs. England

Saturday, kick-off 16:50

Murrayfield, Scotland

New England head coach Eddie Jones' first RBS 6 Nations clash is the same as Stuart Lancaster, the man he succeeded: a hostile trip north of the border to contest the Calcutta Cup. England will be looking to bury the ghosts of a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign, in which the hosts were knocked out of their own tournament at the pool stage. Scotland, under Jones' good friend Vern Cotter, have all the momentum having been a kick away from the semifinals of the World Cup. Expect fireworks in Edinburgh.

Jones: Daly and Itoje not yet ready

Team news

John Barclay will make his first Six Nations appearance in four years when he lines up for Scotland against England at Murrayfield on Saturday. The Scarlets flanker is just one of two changes to the team which suffered World Cup quarterfinal heartbreak to Australia last October. He takes over from Blair Cowan at blindside, while centre Matt Scott comes in for Peter Horne to partner Mark Bennett, with the Glasgow man declared fit after shaking off a shoulder injury.

For England, Jones has named a starting XV containing over 500 caps, but no debutants. Danny Care is preferred at scrum-half ahead of Ben Youngs, while Owen Farrell starts at centre and George Ford at fly-half. Dylan Hartley captains the side from hooker, with James Haskell starting at openside and Chris Robshaw moved to blindside. Paul Hill, Ollie Devoto and Jack Clifford are in line for their Test debuts after being named on the bench.

Scotland (to face England): Hogg, Maitland, Bennett, Scott, Seymour, Russell, Laidlaw, Dickinson, Ford, Nel, R Gray, J Gray, Barclay, Hardie, Denton.

Replacements: McInally, Reid, Fagerson, Swinson, Cowan, Hidalgo-Clyne, Weir, Taylor.

England (to face Scotland): Brown, Watson, Joseph, Farrell, Nowell, Ford, Care; Marler, Hartley (captain), Cole, Kruis, Launchbury, Robshaw, Haskell, B Vunipola.

Replacements: George, M Vunipola, Hill, Lawes, Clifford, Youngs, Goode, Devoto.

Key head-to-head

Barclay hasn't played in the Six Nations since 2012 and is immediately back in at the thick of it; he will line up opposite a man licking his wounds and determined to prove himself under new management. Chris Robshaw lost the England captaincy after Lancaster's departure but, having switched flanks to the position he has been excelling at Harlequins, it is as much a new era for him as it is England.

Jones: Scotland red hot favourites

Key stats

*Top points-scorer:

Scotland, Chris Paterson (809). England, Jonny Wilkinson (1179).

*Top try-scorer:

Scotland, Ian Smith and Tony Stanger (Both 24). England, Rory Underwood (49).

*Most caps:

Scotland, Chris Paterson (109). England, Jason Leonard (114).

*Form guide:

Scotland - WWLWL England - WWLLW

Fantasy player to watch

George Ford and Jonathan Joseph. Both were exceptional in last year's Championship and made ESPN Fantasy's 2015 team of the tournament -- will they pick up where they left off in the Six Nations?


It has been a relatively smooth ride for the new England head coach so far -- this is where the real tests begin. England to edge a narrow victory.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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