The penultimate round of 2017 Six Nations matches continues this Sat March 11th when Scotland travel to Twickenham, to take on Auld Enemy England, in one of the oldest international fixtures. There is much at stake for both sides this season and this match will surely set the tone.
The Calcutta Cup is one of the oldest international fixtures, dating back to first international ever played in 1871, where Scotland took the honours winning two tries to England’s one. While much has changed over the years within the game, the fierce rivalry lives on.
This season’s game is building into something special. Scotland are full of confidence having beaten both Ireland and Wales and enter this match with a potential Triple Crown and still a shot at the Championship title. They are back to their best, playing some exciting rugby. In fact, this has been bubbling away for a few seasons now with the side coming of age. They come to Twickenham feeling they have a good chance to cause an upset.
England will welcome back the Vunipola brothers, Billy and Mako, from injury, much earlier than expected. Mako Vunipola should start, but Billy may start from the bench, as one of the impact players. He has come through his first game for Saracens, playing 72 minutes of rugby against Newcastle Falcons today. But will Eddie Jones risk starting him? It’s the question most are asking.
England need to be sharper in most areas of the field, as there have been moments of brilliance, but a lot of unforced errors, too.
What Eddie Jones and Vern Cotter will have up their sleeves? Will they feel the enormity of the Auld Enemy, that is steep in history? Can Scotland force a win against England at Twickenham for the first time since 1983, when Scotland won the match 12-22? Or will England continue with their progress towards another Grand Slam, Triple Crown and Championship Title, come March 18th in Ireland?
Five key battle grounds
Full Back – Stuart Hogg against Mike Brown
Fly Half – Finn Russell against George Ford
Back Row – Jonny Gray against Maro Itoje
Front Row – Dylan Hartley against Fraser Brown
Wing – Tim Visser against Jack Nowell
One thing is for sure: it’s set to be an enthralling encounter for these two Auld Enemies, in the continuation of one of the oldest Internationals fixtures in World Rugby.