Friday, 18 August, 2017

Vunipola brothers on the bench for England clash with Scotland

Vunipola brothers on the bench for England clash with Scotland Vunipola brothers on the bench for England clash with Scotland
Arthur Frazier | 10 March, 2017, 00:50

Greg Laidlaw and his merry men have already seen off Ireland and Wales convincingly in this year's tournament and will be in no mood to be charitable when they travel south to Twickenham - the scene of one of the countries biggest heartbreaks after an agonising last-minute defeat to Australia in the 2015 World Cup.

It was widely expected that Vunipola would be drafted straight back into the starting line-up but will have to settle for a place on the bench for now, with Nathan Hughes regaining his spot in the back row. I think he ran into my dog, he ran into her!

In that regard the most influential name on the England team sheet, which includes predictable returns to the starting XV for Jack Nowell, Jonathan Joseph and Ben Youngs, may well prove to be the loosehead prop Joe Marler, looking after the No1 jersey on the occasion of his 50th cap. Even the lovely spring weather in Bagshot could not distract from the untimely training ground knock suffered by Owen Farrell, nor a odd, prickly press conference grudgingly given by Eddie Jones.

England certainly look worth taking on after some less than convincing displays and best price 9/2 (Betfair) for a Scotland victory can't be sniffed at. They have gone how many games unbeaten. Once again, they will also have to start this weekend without one of their talismans, the management having decided Saracens' Billy Vunipola is not quite ready, after all, to wear No8. But Owen will be right, he's in doubt but we'll see.

Dylan Hartley (captain) 3.

Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy
They have demanded the release of 85 fishermen and 128 boats and chose to launch indefinite strike from March 7. The Tamil Nadu government had announced a Rs 5-lakh compensation for Britso's family.

I'm not going to tell you that mate.

Scotland have not beaten England in their past eight attempts. The record was set recently, from August 2015 to October 2016.

Scotland seeks a first win at Twickenham since 1983 and a first Triple Crown since 1990.

England have won their last 13 home games in the Six Nations, the last time they went on a longer such run was between 1998 and 2003 (14 games).

Mike Brown is the leading metre maker after three rounds of the 2017 Six Nations, accumulating 266 metres from 34 carries, an average of 7.8 metres per carry.

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