It’s fair to say Scotland are not quite playing the rugby that saw them thrash Australia and nearly beat New Zealand in November and some of Scotland’s key men are not quite stepping up.
If Scotland are to have any chance of wrestling the Calcutta Cup off England those that have been under-performing will need to step up this weekend.
1. Finn Russell
The Glasgow fly-half is poetry in motion when he plays well. He attacks the line, brings his centres into the game and has a good turn of pace.
He’s very similar to England’s George Ford in attack.
Russell has been found wanting against Wales and France as they have exposed the Scottish maestro, maybe it’s the pressure and expectation now placed on Scotland after such a strong autumn.
2. Hamish Watson
Last season’s Six Nations was a huge tournament for the openside flanker as he showed why he is rated so highly north of the border.
Watson is an all-action flanker, he does the hard work on the floor, wins turnovers and carries well.
With England not exactly flooding the breakdown and with what some people would argue is a seriously unbalanced back row without the traditional fetcher, Watson could be in his element.
He has yet to show the reasons Scotland gave him a starring role this season but his chance to rectify that will not come on any bigger stage than against England on Saturday, as Scotland look to deny England their ninth victory in a row over Scotland.
3. Ali Price
Greig Laidlaw starts in place of the Glasgow scrum-half after his wonderful performance against France.
This means Price has to show the sort of form he has at club level if he wants to win back the number nine jersey.
He was given a tough ride at Cardiff but coming on against a tired England back-row around the fringes and his sniping breaks and darting runs could give England nightmares.
Price will need a turnaround though as his work was largely nullified by Wales.
Scotland will need to be at their very best to beat a very good England side but if their biggest stars can stand up Gregor Townsend’s men will at least give visitors a very tough game.
Fred Blagden, Pundit Arena
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