Preview England Scotland RBS 6Nations

Preview England Scotland RBS 6Nations

England have picked an exciting bunch of players for their upcoming Six Nations campaign.

I just hope that people bear in mind that it takes a little bit of time for guys to find their feet when they enter international rugby.

Don’t expect miracles overnight.

You have a clean slate and a lot of young players who all want to prove themselves on the biggest stage.

That extra enthusiasm is great as long as it can be controlled.

There will be no fear in that group but there is not as many experienced heads to guide them around the park as there has been in recent years.

If Toby Flood is fit, he will start at fly-half I imagine but, if he doesn’t make it, I expect Charlie Hodgson to wear No.10 when England open their Six Nations campaign in Scotland on February 4.

I have full faith in Charlie.

He has bags of experience and he will be a cracking player to have next to Ben Youngs at scrum-half.

Charlie has played in a lot of big games and knows what is required on the international scene.

He will be ideal person to channel that youthful exuberance in the backs outside him and get them playing in a pragmatic way.

Being pragmatic in the first 20 minutes against Scotland will be crucial. If England fling it around all over the place, they could open themselves up to a very organised and physical Scottish side.

But if Owen Farrell plays outside of Charlie at inside centre and they play a very Saracens-like game plan, it will be just what England need early on to settle things down.

Sarries don’t play a huge amount of expansive rugby and if outside centre Brad Barritt is the third member of their side in England’s backs, they will know each other’s game inside out.

As usual, the game will be won and lost in the front five and with guys like Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Geoff Parling in the set-up, they will not be short of beef or experience.

Read more about Bath Rugby at our club page, including links to ticket information for home games.

Read more from Dan Hipkiss on his Living Rugby blog.

You can follow many of the England Elite Player Squad on Twitter including @tobyflood, @benyoungs09, @owen_faz, @bradbarritt, @DylanHartley & @clawes.


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