Match Preview


Duhan van der Merwe try v England 2023
A Calcutta Cup clash is always among the highlights of any Guinness Men’s Six Nations campaign and Saturday’s latest instalment at Scottish Gas Murrayfield looks like being no exception.

Recent history in this fixture sides with the hosts. Scotland have won their last three Championship matches against England, including a 20-17 victory when the rivals last met in Edinburgh two years ago.

But Steve Borthwick’s men will travel north of the border quietly confident of ending that run. They have built on autumn’s run to the World Cup semi-finals with back-to-back victories over Italy and Wales to raise hopes of a first title tilt since 2020.

Scotland also started with a win – just – in Wales but come into this one looking to bounce back following a narrow defeat at home against France last time out.

The sub-plots are countless and the outcome on Saturday teatime could shape how the remainder of the Championship looks for both these nations. Victory for England and they really will start to dream; should Scotland triumph again, Gregor Townsend’s side will be two-thirds of the way to a first Triple Crown since 1990.


Saturday’s match is live on BBC One for viewers in the UK, with coverage beginning at 4pm ahead of the 4.45pm kick-off.


Scotland welcome back full-back Blair Kinghorn as one of three changes to their side for Round 3.

Kinghorn, 27, replaces Harry Paterson, who made an eleventh-hour debut against France a fortnight ago.

Kyle Steyn, whose withdrawal opened up the opportunity for Paterson, is back in the starting XV in place of Kyle Rowe, while Jamie Ritchie replaces Matt Fagerson in the back row.

England join their hosts in making a change in the No.15 jersey as George Furbank comes in for Freddie Steward.

That alteration is one of five in total as Ollie Lawrence and Danny Care – winning his 99th cap – also come into the backline, with Ellis Genge and Dan Cole starting in the pack.


Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “The players know this is a big opportunity.

“It’s a huge game for us both in terms of the Championship and as a one-off game. We know we have to deliver a better performance in this game than the first two.

“There is a lot of positive energy in the camp around us playing at home against our biggest rivals.

“The energy we get playing at home in any game is tremendous but this one in particular is something special. But we have to stay calm and deliver what we know we can deliver.”

England head coach Steve Borthwick said: “We’re pleased with the start we’ve made to our Guinness Six Nations campaign but know that a difficult test awaits us in Edinburgh against an in-form Scotland team.

“The atmosphere is always special for any Calcutta Cup match and I’m sure this weekend’s game at Murrayfield will be no different.

“This group of players are looking forward to the challenge on Saturday and to creating some very special memories.”

KEY BATTLE – Blair Kinghorn v George Furbank

There are no shortage of tantalising individual match-ups but the one between the two incoming full-backs will be pivotal.

Kinghorn has been a big miss in Scotland’s opening two games and will be looking to bring the attacking flair which saw him cross four times in last year’s Championship.

Furbank’s start, his first in an England shirt since 2022, is a reward for his electric club form in a Northampton Saints shirt and he will seize on any loose kicks that come his way.

Both will have to be rock solid under the high ball and whoever wins this particular battle could go a long way to deciding the outcome.


  • Scotland have won each of their last three Guinness Men’s Six Nations matches against England, as many victories as they’d managed in their previous 20 attempts. Only once before have they won four in a row in the Home/Five/Six Nations (1893-1896).

  • Scotland won their last Calcutta Cup match at Scottish Gas Murrayfield in the Guinness Men’s Six Nations, beating England 20-17 in 2022. However, they have not won consecutive matches since 2006-2008, when the won two try-less clashes (18-12 and 15-9).

  • England have won their opening two games of a Guinness Men’s Six Nations for the first time since 2019. The last time they won their first three matches in a campaign was in 2017, when they went on to win the Championship.

  • England have won both their matches in this Guinness Men’s Six Nations campaign having been trailing at half-time. Their nine-point comeback against Wales in Round 2 was the joint-biggest half time deficit they’ve overcome in their Test history.

  • Finn Russell is the joint-top points scorer in the 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations so far, alongside George Ford (both 23 points). Russell has a 100% goalkicking rate from his nine kicks at goal, Ford 73% (8/11).


Pierre Schoeman (13.4 stars) is the top-scoring prop in this year’s Championship so far, averaging 21 Fantasy Rugby points per game. Co-captain Rory Darge is averaging 24 and is very reasonably priced at 11.4 stars.

Duhan van der Merwe is a more costly option at 16.9 stars but memories of his deadly double at Twickenham in last year’s Calcutta Cup clash remain fresh and he may well prove to be worth the investment.

For England, newly-introduced full-back Furbank is a snip at 10.6 stars, as is his Northampton clubmate and starting wing Tommy Freeman at 9.2 stars.

Danny Care knows what it takes to score against Scotland in this Championship, having done so in 2013 and twice in 2017, and will be eager to make an impression now he is in from the start. The veteran will set you back just 10.9 stars at scrum-half.


Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben White; 1 Pierre Schoeman, 2 George Turner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Scott Cummings, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 7 Rory Darge, 8 Jack Dempsey

Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Andy Christie, 21 George Horne, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Cameron Redpath

England: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care; 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Jamie George, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Ollie Chessum, 6 Ethan Roots, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Ben Earl

Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 George Martin, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso