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'I grew up coming to Murrayfield and watching us lose to England'

By PA
PA

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Hamish Watson is revelling in Scotland’s current Calcutta Cup purple patch after growing up watching England dominate the fixture.

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The Scots have now lifted the old trophy four times in the last five years after their nail-biting 20-17 victory at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

Prior to 2018, they had defeated England only three times in 27 years and traditionally went into the fixture as big underdogs.

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Watson, 30, is thrilled to be part of a Scotland side now enjoying the upper hand over the Auld Enemy under Gregor Townsend.

“I think for everyone it is a huge game,” said the Edinburgh flanker. “I grew up coming to Murrayfield and watching us lose a lot of games to England.

“They were always tough games – and Saturday’s was a tough game as well – but the last five years we’ve been on top in these games so it is great for the fans and for the players.

“It was massive emotion at the end, and relief as well. These games mean so much to the players and the fans, and to have another Calcutta Cup win is a great feeling.”

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Watson paid tribute to fly-half Finn Russell, who slotted over the decisive penalty shortly after a couple of cross-field kicks caused havoc in the England defence and led to the game-changing penalty try when Luke Cowan-Dickie patted the ball forward instead of catching it just in front of the try line.

“I thought Finn controlled the game well,” said Watson. “It was tough and when you are not getting much ball it would have been easy to keep trying things and shipping it on.

“We know how great an attacker Finn is, but his kicking game has been awesome over the last couple of years, and you saw that with those back-to-back kicks which really put the pressure on England.

“I thought his kicking throughout the game – with those grubbers he put through to pin them back especially in the second half – he had a really good performance.”

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After Saturday’s exploits, the Scots will head to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff next weekend to face a Wales side well beaten by Ireland in Dublin.

Townsend’s side won on their last Six Nations visit to Wales in a match played behind closed doors in Llanelli in 2020.

“I think all the boys are just looking forward to it now,” said Watson. “We’ll review England then put that aside and shift our focus onto Wales.

“Wales have got a few injuries but they are still a really good team who are always full of belief – they always get results when they need them.

“We know it is going to be tough going to the Millennium (Principality) in front of the Welsh fans – the last one was at Parc Y Scarlets with no fans – so it is going to be a different sort of Test match on Saturday, but our squad is in a good place, and we’ll go there full of confidence.”

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