England keep same XV for Scotland as they aim to end miserable try scoring record


England have named an unchanged side for their second 6 Nations match of the campaign, selecting the same players to face Scotland as narrowly lost to France last week.

Stuart Lancaster’s men fell to an agonising late Gael Fickou try to lose 26-24 in Paris last week, however having put in such a sterling effort to come back from 16-3 down, it was expected that Lancaster would not change too much for the Calcutta Cup clash.

The only doubt was whether Jonny May would recover from his bang on the nose in time, but he has been declared fit and takes his place on the left wing, with the cramp riddled Jack Nowell winning his second cap on the right. Luther Burrell also wins his second cap, at outside centre.

Much of the reason for Lancaster sticking with the same 23 is the fluidity of the England attack against France. England have only scored one try at Murrayfield since winning the 2004and Lancaster and his charges will be acutely aware that they cannot run the risk of turning up once again with a blunt attack.

One of the most impressive attacking lights last week was Owen Farrell, who was judged by many to have had his best game in an England shirt. He spoke of how comfortable he felt in the England attack last week:

“I thought the way we attacked made it the most comfortable I have felt within the team. The amount of options the boys gave us was outstanding and that showed in the way we played. People were working hard off the floor all day to get back in the line – that was brilliant.”

“The defence has to mark something and there are always gaps somewhere. It’s a matter of picking that space and if you have options all the time and are getting on the front foot like we did, it makes things a lot easier. “

“There were a few mistakes in the first half from our offloading but I thought out intent to do that was brilliant. We’ll get better this week and we’ll make sure the majority of them are the right choices.”

From a neutrals point of view the fact that Scotland have also only scored one try in the period since 2004 is a bit of a worry, particularly given the state of the Murrayfield pitch at the moment plus the expected rain and wind on Saturday.

It is a stat that Stuart Lancaster will be all too aware of from both sides, and he is aware of just how tricky these trip to Murrayfield can be, indeed in the four game since 2004, Scotland have won two, there has been one draw, and England have won one – in 2012, 13-6 (the game in which they scored that solitary try). Speaking of the challenge of Murrayfield and the determination of his players to avenge that defeat in Paris, Lancaster said:

“It’s good to be able to select the same players and they are all determined to put last week’s result behind us and build on the performance. Scotland will be hugely motivated by their defeat in Dublin and, as we found two years ago, Murrayfield is a tough place to play.”

What do you think of the England XV, is Stuart Lancaster right to stick with the same team? Who will win in Edinburgh? Let us know your thoughts via @FifteenRugbyXV or through the comments box below.

England XV:

15. Mike Brown (Harlequins)  14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)  13. Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)  12. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester)  11. Jonny May (Gloucester)  10. Owen Farrell (Saracens)  9. Danny Care (Harlequins);  1. Joe Marler (Harlequins)  2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)  3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)  4. Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)  5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)  6. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)  7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain)  8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: 16. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)  17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)  18. Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)  19. Dave Attwood (Bath)  20. Ben Morgan (Gloucester)  21. Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)  22. Brad Barritt (Saracens)  23. Alex Goode (Saracens).

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