Scotland captain Stuart Hogg is relishing the challenge that awaits his team in their Guinness Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham. The Scots have not triumphed at English rugby headquarters since 1983 and they will face a side that won last year’s Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup.


“If you give them time and space, they are going to be dangerous,” said Hogg, who missed recent gallagher Premiership club matches with Exeter due to a hamstring injury. “If you get in their face and make it confrontational, then it makes it for a tasty encounter.

“We are excited for it and we have got some great preparation time now to make sure we are in the best place possible to go down to Twickenham and pick up a win. It is a massive game for everybody involved in Scottish rugby and Scotland as a nation.

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“It is not often you get two weeks’ preparation for an international game, so we are excited about the challenge of going down to Twickenham and playing one of the best teams in the world.”

Scotland won three games in last year’s delayed Six Nations after a shaky start and they ended it with a first victory on Welsh soil for 18 years as Hogg and company edged a tight and tense encounter at Parc y Scarlets.

Wales are second on Scotland’s Six Nations agenda when they head to Murrayfield on February 13, but for now it is England that are looming large. Assessing the England challenge, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “It’s the biggest game every year for us, for our players, but especially for our nation.


“It is a game we have played most regularly – 150 years this year – and we play for a trophy, so it is the biggest game. Coming as the first fixture means that the focus as we go into next week will be really sharp.

We are playing one of the best teams in the world, a team that won last year’s Six Nations. There is no bigger (challenge) than England away. It is a tough one for the opener – a team that won last year’s Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup – on their own patch.

“But it focuses our minds. We know we will have to be at our best to be in a position to win that game, and we have always got to look at how we improve from our last campaign. We want to go through that process of working out how we can get better, and how we can beat England a week on Saturday.”


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