Assistant coach Mike Blair wants Scotland’s players to ignore the Eddie Jones hype ahead of Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown.

The Scots travel to Twickenham looking to end a disappointing Guinness Six Nations on a positive note. They posted a win over Italy on the opening weekend but have lost all three subsequent matches.

Injuries have been an issue, and that has led to Gregor Townsend relying on second or third choice selections in key positions.

Scotland still have a hefty injury list. Among the absentees for the trip South will be back three men Tommy Seymour, Blair Kinghorn and Stuart Hogg. As a result, the chances of an away win for the first time since 1983 are far from rosy.

Jones raised the pre-match temperature with some typically robust language. In his post-match interview following Saturday’s win over Italy, he was critical of the Scots.

Jones suggested they had over-celebrated following last year’s impressive victory at BT Murrayfield however, Blair refused to be drawn into a war of words.

“It’s something that he does”, said Blair, who earned 85 Scotland caps and toured with the British & Irish Lions. “He enjoys that relationship with the media, dropping a few quotes here and there, but that’s his decision to do that.”

Instead, Blair prefers to focus on preparing the Scots to defend the Calcutta Cup. The 37 year old believes they can do so successfully.

“Twickenham is one of the hardest places in the world to go and win. There have been games over the years where Scotland have really challenged England and had opportunities to win but haven’t been able to get it over the line. We feel with this group of players we will be able to get things right.”


Written by Colin Renton