It’s Calcutta Cup time, and for the first time in seven years, there’s no Eddie Jones to fill the column inches. Instead, new England coach Steve Borthwick will hope there will be more written about his side’s actual good performance than the nonsensical words his predecessor would use to pretend the showings in the last year were anything other than a bit crap.
The Cumbrian’s first task as he begins his international head coaching journey is to overcome an interesting Scotland selection from his opposite number, Gregor Townsend. In contrast, the Scots head coach is embarking on his own Frank Slade-esque tour of pleasures as his time in the job heads to a definite end sometime this coming autumn. The first pleasure he’s indulged appears to be picking a side to play rugby a breakneck speed, figuring if he only has a few matches left, he’s not going to die with the music in him.
Borthwick is looking to throw in some interesting riffs of his own, with a selection off the bat that looks mobile rather than meaty, and sticking with Marcus Smith at 10 despite many assuming it would be Farrell shifted back there.
History tells us England should sneak it, but a fascinating game awaits.