Calcutta Cup: Everything you need to know as Scotland take on England

Scotland are aiming for their third consecutive win over England.

Scotland are hoping to retain the Calcutta Cup when they take on England on Saturday in their Six Nations’ opener.

Gregor Townsend’s men haven’t lost at Twickenham since 2017, recording a win and a draw in their last two visits.

Another tight game could be in store as both teams look to get off to the best possible start.

Team news

Ali Price has been left out of the 23 and is one of four members of the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad who have failed to make the starting XV this weekend.

Gloucester centre Chris Harris drops to the bench, while Glasgow prop Zander Fagerson and Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson are missing on fitness grounds.

Scotland team: S Hogg (Exeter); K Steyn (Glasgow), H Jones (Glasgow), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow), D van der Merwe (Edinburgh), F Russell (Racing 92) B White (London Irish); P Schoeman (Edinburgh), G Turner (Glasgow), WP Nel (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow), G Gilchrist (Edinburgh), J Ritchie (Edinburgh), L Crosbie (Edinburgh), M Fagerson (Glasgow).

Replacements: F Brown (Glasgow), J Bhatti (Glasgow), S Berghan (Glasgow), J Gray (Exeter) J Dempsey (Glasgow), G Horne (Glasgow), B Kinghorn (Edinburgh), C Harris (Gloucester).

Gregor Townsend has named his team.SNS Group

Townsend’s thoughts

The Scotland head coach has backed Price to bounce back strongly from his omission from the 23.

The 29-year-old scrum-half has been a mainstay throughout Townsend’s five-and-a-half-year reign, winning 58 caps since his debut in 2016.

Ali Price: Backed to bounce back from omission.SNS Group

However, after struggling for form at Glasgow this season, he has lost the number nine jersey to London Irish’s Ben White for the Six Nations opener.

“Ali and I have worked together for a number of years and he has been very good for us over that period,” said Townsend.

“We chatted a week ago about how it was important he improved, whether that was just through training or getting game time with Glasgow at the weekend. He’s very aware of that too.

“He’s not been able to have as many games with Glasgow as he would have liked, but he did play well at the weekend (away to Dragons). He’s making progress at getting back to his best.

“Non-selection can motivate you in two ways: it can get you more disappointed or it can give you a reaction to say ‘OK, I’m not close to my best and sometimes I won’t get to play’, but we’re already seeing that reaction from Ali and I’m sure he’ll be back to his best very soon.

“We backed him in the autumn when he played four tests for us and he improved during those, but this time he’s missed out. We believe we’ll see a reaction and get Ali back to his best for the rest of the campaign.”

Recent history

After a decade of English dominance, Scotland have lost only one of the last five encounters between the countries, winning three and drawing one.

Townsend’s men won 20-17 at Murrayfield last February after recording a 11-6 victory at Twickenham the previous year in what was their first win there since 1983.

Calcutta Cup: Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell with the trophy. SNS Group

A 13-6 win for England at Murrayfield in 2020 is their only Six Nations win over Scotland since 2017, with the Scots winning 25-13 in Edinburgh in 2018 and a getting a memorable 38-38 draw in Twickenham in 2019.

2022: Scotland 20-17 England

2021: England 6-11 Scotland

2020: Scotland 6-13 England

2019: England 38-38 Scotland

2018: Scotland 25-13 England

Six Nations fixtures

Scotland will next host Wales in Edinburgh before travelling to play the current champions in France.

They will finish the campaign with two Murrayfield games in March against Ireland and Italy.

February 11: Scotland v Wales

February 26: France v Scotland

March 12: Scotland v Ireland

March 18: Scotland v Italy

World Cup 2023

After the dust settles on the Six Nations, attention will turn to the Rugby World Cup in France.

Scotland’s campaign will begin against South Africa in Marseille on September 10 before games against Tonga, Romania and Ireland to complete their pool.

September 10: Scotland v South Africa

September 24: Scotland v Tonga

September 30: Scotland v Romania

October 7: Scotland v Ireland

What is the Calcutta Cup?

The Calcutta Cup is awarded to the winner of the annual Six Nations match between Scotland and England, dating back to a 20-a-side game in 1879.

Scotland are current holders and they have won the cup 42 times to England’s 71.

Calcutta Cup: Stuart Hogg after victory at Twickenham in 2021.SNS Group

Watch the Calcutta Cup match live on STV and the STV Player from 4pm on Saturday, February 4.

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