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Leading players make a comeback as the England team aims to dominate and win the Calcutta Cup.
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Leading players make a comeback as the England team aims to dominate and win the Calcutta Cup.

Kevin Sinfield stated that England will travel to Scotland for a significant match against the Calcutta Cup on Saturday with a strong and powerful team. He also mentioned that his team is prepared for any potential conflict from their opponents at Murrayfield.

Steve Borthwick has Manu Tuilagi and Ollie Lawrence at his disposal again to power up his midfield after both missed England’s opening two matches with groin and hip injuries respectively. The hard-hitting Leicester forward George Martin is also available again for his first Test appearance since his stunning display in England’s narrow World Cup semi-final defeat by South Africa last October.

Once again, Borthwick expressed disappointment in England’s lack of strength after their narrow win against Italy. While Dingwall and Slade have performed well in the midfield in the first two matches, the head coach plans to include Tuilagi or Lawrence in the lineup against Scotland in hopes of securing their first Calcutta Cup victory in four years. Assistant coach Kevin Sinfield noted that both Ollie and Manu possess considerable power and would be valuable assets to the team. Having their strength available will be crucial as England strives to find the right balance for this week’s match.

32-year-old Tuilagi has been unable to play since December due to a recurring injury. However, Sinfield reassures, “Do not underestimate him yet. He still has many productive years ahead of him and is a crucial component in our future plans and team dynamics.”

In his fourth appearance for England against the Springboks, Martin’s physicality stood out, particularly with a powerful tackle on Franco Mostert. Sinfield, who previously coached Martin at Leicester, praised his size, aggression, and ball-carrying abilities, as well as his defensive skills. It was a welcome return for Martin, and Sinfield believes he will make a strong impact if he is selected for the upcoming game. Having worked closely with him at Leicester, Sinfield knows that Martin is always eager to do what is asked of him and will continue to improve as a player.

We acknowledge that we are entering a location where we have not had much success in the past, but our approach will not change. We still aim to be physically strong this weekend. George will most likely lead the way for us.

England’s George Martin takes on South Africa in the 2023 World Cup semi-final

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Martin was selected as a player in the second row for the game against South Africa, but he may also play as a blindside flanker against Scotland or come off the bench. Ben Spencer is also expected to earn another appearance, which would be his first since the 2019 World Cup final. This is because Harry Randall, who was brought in as a replacement for the injured Alex Mitchell, has been released back to the England A team. This leaves only Bath’s scrum-half and Danny Care as the two options for the number nine position.

This season, Spencer and Scotland’s Finn Russell have established a strong partnership as halfbacks at Bath. With Lawrence and Max Ojomoh, who are also on the England squad, playing on clubs separate from Spencer, the coaches have been seeking their insights on the talented fly-half. Sinfield believes it would be foolish not to take advantage of their knowledge and gain a better understanding of how Russell operates at Bath and what he may bring to the Scotland team.

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In 2020, England defeated Scotland with a try from Ellis Genge in a match that was lackluster due to bad weather. This was their only victory in the last six times they faced each other. In recent visits to Murrayfield, there have been incidents of fights in the tunnel and coach Eddie Jones expressing anger when one of his assistants was hit with a bottle while entering the stadium.

Sinfield stated that there will definitely be some tension between the two aggressive forward packs in the upcoming Test match. As we haven’t beaten them in several years, there is a lot on the line and we can expect some unexpected challenges in the next few days.

Source: theguardian.com