Rugby Union

Scotland make six changes for England clash

Sean Maitland, Hamish Watson and Sam Skinner recalled as Scotland make six changes for England clash

  • Dark Blues have made six changes to the team that lost to Wales last weekend
  • Scotland have lost their last three matches after an opening win over Italy 
  • They travel to Twickenham in search of a first victory there since 1983

Gregor Townsend has handed recalls to full-back Sean Maitland and back-row pair Hamish Watson and Sam Skinner for Scotland’s trip to Twickenham on Saturday.

The Dark Blues coach has announced six changes to the team that lost to Wales last weekend, with wing Byron McGuigan, centre Sam Johnson and lock Ben Toolis also brought in to face Championship-chasing England.

Dropping out are the injured trio of Tommy Seymour, Blair Kinghorn and Jamie Ritchie plus Peter Horne, while Josh Strauss and Jonny Gray move to the bench.

Gregor Townsend has announced six changes to the team that lost to Wales last weekend

Gregor Townsend has announced six changes to the team that lost to Wales last weekend

Scotland head to London hoping to arrest a run of three straight defeats but they have not beaten England at Twickenham since 1983.

Townsend said: ‘First of all we have to build on the positive aspects of our performance from last weekend against Wales, when we were able to generate quick ball and build a lot of pressure on the opposition.

‘The character and fitness the players displayed in the second half showed what the team is capable of against one of the best sides in the world. The next step is making that pressure count on the scoreboard, more regularly.

Scotland flanker Hamish Watson returns in one of six changes for their final Six Nations game

Scotland flanker Hamish Watson returns in one of six changes for their final Six Nations game

‘Winning away from home tends to be achieved through an outstanding defensive performance and we are determined to deliver that this Saturday. At times against Wales we weren’t aggressive or accurate enough so that has been a focus for us this week in training.’

England’s Grand Slam bid was wrecked by defeat to Wales but they can still claim the title if Warren Gatland’s side slip up at home to Ireland.

Townsend added: ‘England are a quality side and have been playing really well throughout the championship.

‘They have shown a different game plan this season which is built on power, both through direct ball carrying and also getting off the line in defence.

‘They’ve kicked the ball more than any other team in the Guinness Six Nations, which has worked well for them and produced tries, and it also shows that they are more than comfortable defending for several phases.’

 

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