A struggling Scotland side will host bookmaker favorites England to the BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh on the second weekend of the 2020 Six Nations. This match is scheduled to take place on Saturday 8th February 2020 as from 4:45 pm (GMT) and it will be live on BBC. French referee Pascal Gauzere will take charge of the proceedings at the Murrayfield. The winner of this match will be awarded the Calcutta Cup to which Scotland are the defending champions for 2nd time in a row.
Gregor Townsend will once again try motivating his squad to collect a good result despite the strain in resources and an injury hit squad but the task could be more daunting given the recent English resurgence. Having been eliminated in the group stages in disappointing Rugby World Cup showing, Townsend has shown an intent of re-engineering his strategies by naming a new on-field captain in Stuart Hogg. Another win against England in the current circumstances for Scotland will be a massive confidence booster for the hosts as they build for the future.
England will on the other hand look to brush off a Rugby World Cup final loss to South Africa and save their blushes by lifting the Six Nations trophy in March. However, they will need to win against Scotland away for the first time since Feb 2016 if they are to achieve that feat. Eddie Jones will be aware that his side has the best shot at a grand slam having been allocated very favorable fixtures. Likewise, the current England side is filled with top class talent that puts them at a very favorable position heading into this match.
Twickenham stadium in London was home to a master class when Scotland and England last locked horns in the 2019 Six Nations tournament. England had taken a huge 31-0 lead in under 30 minutes via tries from Nowell, Curry, Launchbury, and May in addition to an Owen Farell penalty. However, Townsend’s men fought their way back with 38 unanswered points to stun the hosts. Mclnally started the comeback for the visitors in the 35th minute with Graham adding two consecutive tries to rekindle the visitors’ hopes. Bradbury pegged another back before Finn Rusell tied the match in the 60th minute. Johnson continued the Scottish domination with another try but Ford grabbed a late try for England to tie the game in very dramatic fashion.
Newly appointed captain Stuart Hogg will be will be a key factor in this game. How he helps the team gel together will be key if they are to get a win here. Other players worth watching include the extremely talented Finn Rusell who has the ability to cause havoc for any opposition, the in form Zander Fagerson, and Magnus Bradbury.
Much attention will be on the young talent in the England squad that includes Tom Curry and Joe Cokanasiga who have been scintillating in the 2019 fixtures. Owen Farell will once again lead the Lions in Scotland with Dan Biggar not making the squad. Other players who will be keen to impress are Maro Itoje, Henry Slade, and Curry’s Kamikaze twin Sam Underhill.
Head to Head
These two teams have contested in 137 rugby test matches with England winning 73, Scotland 43, and the remaining 19 matches ending in a draw. 69 of these games have been played in Scotland with both teams tied at 29 wins apiece and 11 draws.
Scotland are in a better position than they were in the 2019 edition when they suffered massive first team injuries. Majority of their squad is healthy and fit and they feel they can get better results this year as they try to improve on their 5th place finish in last year’s edition. On the other hand, England will come into this game with the intention of rectifying the mistakes that almost saw them fall in London while seeking a statement win over Scotland.
Prediction: Scotland 9-26 England