England can bounce back from their opening-day defeat to Scotland and still win the Guinness Six Nations, according to Jamie George.
The hooker came off the bench on Saturday in the 20-17 defeat at BT Murrayfield, which saw Scotland retain the Calcutta Cup.
England led by seven points with 15 minutes remaining but a penalty try – awarded when Luke Cowan-Dickie deliberately slapped a cross-field kick out of play – and a Finn Russell penalty swung the match Scotland’s way.
This is the third year in a row that England have lost in Round 1 and George says they can replicate their 2020 comeback, where they rebounded from an opening-round loss to France to win their last four matches – and the title.
“It’s disappointing to lose the first game but we have come back from situations like this and won a tournament,” said George – who started all five Championship matches in 2020.
“We are fully aware that the Six Nations is all about momentum. Our main focus has to be going to Italy and getting five points. We need to win the rest of our games. That’s going to be the main focus.
“Losing the first game is all people will be speaking about, but I thought there was a lot of good in the game as well. It’s certainly not the end of the world.
“We are not saying it was all OK and we are gutted to lose, but we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get ourselves right for Italy.”
Scrum half, Ben Youngs, 32, supported his teammate’s claim that England can go on to win the Championship.
Youngs, who is playing in his 12th Guinness Six Nations and chasing a fifth title, has seen it all before and is refusing to panic.
Youngs said: “‘In 2020, we lost to France quite convincingly and went on to win the title.
“If you look at the fixtures and who has to go where, the next match is really important.
“We’re building this team and it is only going to grow from an experience like this. I’ve been in this team for a long time, but for a lot of guys it’s their first ever experience of a Six Nations — their first time at BT Murrayfield.
“A lot of guys really held their own.”