Scotland great Jim Telfer believes they can catch England cold in the Calcutta Cup next weekend and claim their first win at Twickenham for 38 years.
Telfer was Scotland coach the last time they won in London in 1983 and expects a close battle when the two teams meet in Round 1 of the Guinness Six Nations on Saturday.
Five of England’s Saracens contingent have not played since December’s Autumn Nations Cup final, including captain Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje.
And Telfer thinks a dialled in Scotland can take advantage and give them a run for their money.
“I think we have got as good a chance this time as we have had for a while,” the 80-year-old told The Rugby Paper.
“The best time to get to the top teams sometimes is their first game. The best teams in the world – New Zealand and South Africa – get better as they go through the season and England are like that too.
“You think about when Eddie Jones took over in 2016 and they came to BT Murrayfield in Round 1 and scraped through and then went from strength to strength.
“Maybe England take us a bit lightly. I know Eddie Jones won’t, and the players won’t think they do, but sometimes you get the impression they think ‘this is Scotland’.
“They better get that thought to the back of their minds because Scotland can play and score tries as good as anybody. It is just the relentlessness of the English forwards – they have some top-class players at the moment.
“Where we may better is the fact our players have had more games recently. Some of the Saracens players haven’t had any games at all.”
Both Eddie Jones and Gregor Townsend name their squads on Thursday and Telfer – who led Scotland to the Grand Slam in 1984 and 1990 – is excited to see fly-half Finn Russell and full-back Stuart Hogg link up again.
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Russell missed much of the 2020 Championship after breaching team protocols but is back in contention this year.
“We have certainly got some match-winners in the team with Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell and the big winger Duhan van der Merwe,” Telfer added.
“We have got the ability – it is just getting the consistency and discipline. We give away too many penalties in crucial moments in matches.”
After facing England, Scotland head back to BT Murrayfield to face Wales in Round 2.