England v Scotland - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last Updated: 02/02/13 3:28pm

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England coach Stuart Lancaster has backed Billy Twelvetrees to have a big impact on the RBS Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Gloucester centre Twelvetrees will win his first cap in the Calcutta Cup clash after Manu Tuilagi was ruled out.

And Lancaster, who has also handed a start to Joe Marler in the only other change to the staring XV that beat New Zealand in December, believes Twelvetrees has what it takes to make the step up.

"I coached him with the Saxons in the Churchill Cup and I could see then he had lots of potential and physicality," Lancaster said.

"I have always wanted ball-players in the backline, as well as people who can carry as well with pace and physicality. Billy has an opportunity to demonstrate that he has all three.

"I have every confidence in him going into the game.

"Sometimes opportunities present themselves in different ways. We know Manu is going to be fit for next week and we hope Billy puts a marker down this week and gives us another headache."


Scotland will arrive at Twickenham with a new look on and off the pitch. The shock defeat to Tonga in the autumn brought an end to Andy Robinson's reign in charge - with Scott Johnson taking over on an interim basis.

Johnson has handed a first cap to Sean Maitland, while Dougie Hall, Johnnie Beattie, Ruaridh Jackson, Ryan Grant and Jim Hamilton all start. There are also positional switches for Greig Laidlaw and Sean Lamont.

And flanker Alasdair Strokosch insists that Johnson had no choice but to mix things up, saying: "We don't have much option.

"We have not got a huge player base to choose from, so if you are going to change anything, you are going to have to bring in younger people."

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Joe Marler, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt), 8 Ben Morgan.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Courtney Lawes 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 David Strettle.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 1 Ryan Grant, 2 Dougie Hall, 3 Euan Murray, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Jim Hamilton, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 7 Kelly Brown (capt), 8 Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Moray Low, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Max Evans.

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