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Stephen Ferris expects ferocious Scotland v England battle

| 05.02.2022

Ladbrokes ambassador Stephen Ferris relishes the return of the Six Nations this weekend and here he previews the second match between Scotland and England.

The Calcutta Cup is at stake in the second of Saturday’s Six Nations matches in which injury-hit England are just 5/6 to win, with the Scots cut from 5/4 to 11/10.

For more Six Nations content, check out Stephen’s thoughts on Ireland v Wales and France v Italy.

Scotland v England (Sat, 16.45, BBC)

The odds are tight but England are still slight favourites. Without their captain Owen Farrell, who picked up another injury recently, you would think that this would be a huge blow.

But now the international door has fully opened for Marcus Smith who loves his running rugby and plays the game with such flair and pace. The Quins player has had a year to remember.

Ending up on the Lions tour after winning the Gallagher Premiership, he showcased all his skills to the rugby world. Finn Russell vs Marcus Smith: How good does that sound? Hopefully, they both start and we can have a showdown to remember.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are sitting pretty at the top of the URC table. Both teams have been really solid this season and with the majority of Scotland players coming from these two teams, you are sure to see some of that consistency come through to the national team.

If the Scottish pack can front up and get at least parity in the set-piece area then I feel they can turn the favourites over. Easier said than done, mind you, when you’ve white jerseys trying to smash you in every moment of the game.

The English pack. Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Kyle Sinkler, Maro Itoje, Tom Curry to name a few. Raw physical power throughout with a confident swagger. Skilled and emotionally charged, these lads can hurt any team in world rugby. The English players of course will want to make a huge impact on the game from the first whistle, so let’s see if they live up to the hype. Or in some people’s opinion, their own hype.

This used to be a David vs Goliath game, but not anymore. Scotland +3 seems like the right call for me. There is sure to be drama and controversial decisions, but one thing you can guarantee is that there will be no love lost.

Stephen Ferris previews Ireland v Wales

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Warren Barner