Six Nations: Scotland v England preview

Last Updated: 08/02/14 10:52am

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Billy Vunipola: England No 8 braced for tough test at at Murrayfield

Billy Vunipola: England No 8 braced for tough test at at Murrayfield

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Scotland and England are both looking to revive their Six Nations campaigns at Murrayfield on Saturday after defeats in the opening round.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has named an unchanged starting XV and replacements for the trip, saying his players deserved 'a second chance' after they went down 26-24 to France in Paris last weekend.

They were undone at the Stade de France by a late Gael Fickou try having earlier battled back from a 16-3 deficit to lead 21-16 with four minutes remaining.

The only injury doubt to emerge from that contest was Jonny May. He left the field early with an undisplaced nose fracture but has since been given the all-clear to take his place on the wing.

England have won their last four meetings with Scotland, including a 13-6 win at Murrayfield two years ago but No 8 Billy Vunipola is expecting a ferocious encounter.

Vunipola told Sky Sports News: "They've got a big pack of forwards and their back-line isn't small either. It's going to be a tough, physical game.

"Hopefully we can turn the pace on and score some tries.

"We don't want to get off to another slow start and waste so much energy trying to get back into the game."

Brown dropped

Scotland went down 28-6 in Dublin last Sunday and head coach Scott Johnson reacted to that defeat by dropping captain Kelly Brown from his match-day squad.

Glasgow's Chris Fusaro is selected for a debut at openside flanker in place of Brown, while scrum-half Greig Laidlaw will lead the side.

Tommy Seymour comes in on the wing for Sean Maitland - who will miss the rest of tournament with knee and ankle injuries - while Matt Scott is preferred to Duncan Taylor at inside centre and British and Irish Lions lock Richie Gray loses out to younger brother Jonny on the bench.

Scott said: "One of the main reasons I've been picked is to hopefully make line breaks and take the boys forward. That's one of the strengths the coaches see in my game.

"This weekend will be a massive defensive battle for us and my first job is to front up there and work hard on the kick chase and at the breakdown.

"I can do all the nice things running with the ball but have to get the nitty-gritty part right first.

"The game this weekend might not be about which team gets the most ball, it'll be about the team that puts the most pressure on the other.

"Conditions might not be great, the pitch could be soft underfoot, so having the ball might not be an advantage."

Scotland: 15 Hogg, 14 Seymour, 13 Dunbar, 12 Scott, 11 Lamont, 10 Weir, 9 Laidlaw (capt); 1 Grant, 2 Ford, 3 Low, 4 Swinson, 5 Hamilton, 6 Wilson, 7 Fusaro, 8 Denton

Replacements: 16 Lawson, 17 Dickinson, 18 Cross, 19 Gray, 20 Beattie, 21 Cusiter, 22 Taylor, 23 Evans

England: 15 Brown, 14 Nowell, 13 Burrell, 12 Twelvetrees, 11 May, 10 Farrell, 9 Care; 1 Marler, 2 Hartley, 3 Cole, 4 Launchbury, 5 Lawes, 6 Wood, 7 Robshaw (capt), 8 B Vunipola

Replacements: 16 T Youngs, 17 M Vunipola, 18 Thomas, 19 Attwood, 20 Morgan, 21 Dickson, 22 Barritt, 23 Goode

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