Scotland stick with same side for England game

21 February 2018, 14:06


Gregor Townsend has kept faith with the players that beat France as the Scotland head coach named an unchanged team for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with England.

Townsend has rewarded the starting XV that bounced back from an opening defeat against Wales in the NatWest 6 Nations with a hard-fought win over France by giving them the chance to prove themselves against title favourites England.

Finn Russell - one of five Lions in the side - retains his place at fly-half despite a disappointing campaign to date and man-of-the-match Greg Laidlaw will once again line up alongside him at scrum-half against Eddie Jones' back-to-back winners.

The major changes for Scotland come on the bench, with Townsend's pack options bolstered by the return to fitness of WP Nel after a broken arm, while Tim Swinson also returns to the match-day 23 after injury.

Glasgow centre Nick Grigg has been rewarded for his man-of-the-match display against Cheetahs last Friday with a place on the bench for the BT Murrayfield fixture, and the Scotland head coach admits they will have to improve on their 32-26 victory last time out if they are going to stand a chance on Saturday.

Townsend said: "The players put a huge amount of effort into our win over France. They found a way to win and kept attacking the opposition up until the final whistle.

"England are the number two side in the world and have shown a very good level of consistency in the past couple of seasons.

"Taking on England is going to be a huge challenge and we are well aware that only our very best will be good enough in this fixture."