Scotland coach Gregor Townsend is urging his men to be more aggressive when they face England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Townsend has made six changes as the Scots prepare to defend the Calcutta Cup. He admits his side must toughen up to post their first win at the Cabbage Patch since 1983.

He was happy with aspects of the performance in defeat against Wales last Saturday. But he concedes that it will take something to retain the silverware.

“The character and fitness the players displayed showed, in the second-half, what the team is capable of against one of the best sides in the world”, he said. “The next step is making that pressure count on the scoreboard, more regularly.”

“Winning away from home tends to be achieved through an outstanding defensive performance and we are determined to deliver that this Saturday”, added Townsend.

“At times against Wales we weren’t aggressive or accurate enough so that has been a focus for us this week in training.”

Sean Maitland and Byron McGuigan replace injury victims Blair Kinghorn and Tommy Seymour at full back and wing respectively.

Meanwhile, Sam Johnson comes in at centre in place of his Glasgow colleague Pete Horne.

Another enforced replacement is in the back row where Hamish Watson takes over from Jamie Ritchie at openside. Exeter Chiefs flanker Sam Skinner returns from injury and is the only non-Edinburgh man in the pack.

The last of Townsend’s six alterations is in the second row where Ben Toolis starts in place of Jonny Gray.


Written by Colin Renton