England star James Haskell sends warning to Scotland ahead of Six Nations clash

James HaskellGETTY

England rugby star James Haskell: We'll come out all guns blazing against Scotland in Six Nations

The Grand Slam champions, who have yet to hit top form in their title defence, have pledged to let their hair down and go for it in the Calcutta Cup game – whether or not Owen Farrell wins his race to be fit.

"We probably haven't put in the performances that we want to," said key England forward James Haskell. "Emotionally it always feels like we're there in the right place but maybe it just comes down to the individuals making sure they switch on and take the risks.

"International rugby is about taking risks not standing still and seeing what the opposition do so we have to be all guns blazing."

If Farrell, who sat out training yesterday with a knee injury, misses out, Ben Te'o will start instead and George Ford will take over the goalkicking.

The last time Ford kicked for England at Twickenham against Wales last May he missed six kicks out of seven and was booed by home fans.

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With the Ford/Farrell axis having been used in England's last nine Tests, the Saracen will be given until as late as possible to prove his fitness.

"Owen is a very resilient and robust character but he'll also do the right thing by the team," said England defence coach Paul Gustard yesterday.

"He didn't train today, so by definition there's a small concern about him but we're confident in his rehab. If he doesn't come through we're very happy with Ben Te'o."

Gustard added that wing Jonny May would come onto the bench if Te'o is promoted, although that would leave no specialist stand-off cover were Ford to be injured.

So the uncapped Alex Lozowski, who is scheduled to sit on the Saracens bench against Leicester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final today, could yet receive a call-up.

Owen FarrellGETTY

Owen Farrell is a doubt for England's clash with Scotland at Twickenham

Scotland, who have not won at Twickenham for 34 years, chose to stage their final practice session in a local park yesterday rather than stir up the ghosts of past visits to what has been a graveyard for them. However the in-form Scots, who are chasing their first triple crown since 1990, believe there are cracks in the England edifice.

"We are going to where they say is a daunting place but we are looking forward to it. The last couple of weeks we have played exciting rugby," said Scotland wing Tim Visser.

"England know how to win games but I don't think they've been winning as smoothly as they always have.

"They have struggled up to half time in various games. But they must be doing something right to have won 17 games in a row.

"We are very confident but as typical Scots we are very conservative in how we approach the game.

"We need to be calm and composed. We need to play the game, not the occasion."

Original Article


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