ENGLAND COACH Stuart Lancaster named an unchanged side today for the Calcutta Cup Six Nations clash away to Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday.
Lancaster kept faith with the same matchday 23 that suffered a 26-24 defeat by France in England’s Six Nations opener in Paris last weekend — a loss that left the team “seething”, according to captain Chris Robshaw.
Gloucester’s Jonny May was passed fit earlier in the week after breaking his nose early on at the Stade de France clash and retained his left wing berth.
Meanwhile fellow wing Jack Nowell and centre Luther Burrell, a try-scorer against France, kept their positions after they both made Test debuts in Paris.
England have not scored more than 15 points at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield ground since 2004 and Lancaster was in no doubt of the challenge facing his side as they prepared for the latest edition of rugby union’s oldest international fixture.
“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,” he said after naming the same successive matchday squad for the first time in his 23 Tests in charge.
“Scotland will be hugely motivated by their defeat in Dublin and, as we found two years ago, Murrayfield is a tough place to play,” added Lancaster as he recalled his first match as England coach, a 13-6 win away to Scotland in 2012.
Meanwhile Robshaw, speaking before the team was announced, said they took little consolation from a “plucky” defeat in Paris where, having been 16-3 down, they led 24-19 only to lose to Gael Fickou’s try three minutes from time.
The Harlequins flanker was adamant only victory at Murrayfield would satisfy 2015 World Cup hosts England.
“There will have to be a massive reaction,” the Harlequins flanker said. “All the guys have been seething a bit. Our game is not judged on performance, it is judged on results.
“We need to make sure we turn our performance into results. No one wants to be called plucky losers. Everyone wants to be winners.
“That’s why we play the game — to win the big tournaments. We don’t want to play well to finish second every time.
“We’ve now left ourselves with a lot of work to do and all the guys are up for that,” said Robshaw, whose side will hope to follow the example of defending champions Wales, who last season lost their opening match but still won the Six Nations title.
Scotland, well-beaten 28-6 away to Ireland on Sunday, were due to name their side later Thursday.
England team to play Scotland in a Six Nations international at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield on Saturday (5pm kick-off):
England (15-1): Mike Brown; Jack Nowell, Luther Burrell, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May; Owen Farrell, Danny Care; Billy Vunipola, Chris Robshaw (capt), Tom Wood; Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury; Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler
Replacements: Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Henry Thomas, Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Lee Dickson, Brad Barritt, Alex Goode