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Scotland v England Talking Points

Published 05/02/2016

Eddie Jones takes charge of his first England match on Saturday
Eddie Jones takes charge of his first England match on Saturday

Eddie Jones takes charge of his first match as England head coach in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland.

Here Press Association Sport examines five talking points heading into the Calcutta Cup clash.

THE HONEYMOON IS OVER

Jones freely admits his honeymoon period ends the moment England run out at Murrayfield. After 13 years of underachievement, England have recruited the Australian to engineer results - starting with victory over a seemingly-resurgent Scotland. Jones has not been short of answers to explain the poor health of English rugby, now it is time to show he can translate those into success.

NOT SUCH A BRAVE NEW ERA

Anyone hoping to see new faces at Murrayfield will have to wait until the second half when Jack Clifford, Paul Hill and Ollie Devoto may appear off the bench. There is not a single debutant in the starting XV and all but four of the 23 were a part of the World Cup squad. The team that will take the field has 512 caps and has been chosen with only one objective in mind - securing the crucial win that takes the pressure off the new regime.

WILL DYLAN HARTLEY "MUCK-UP"?

Hartley has been a controversial appointment as captain due to a lengthy rap sheet comprising of over a year of suspensions for offences including biting, gouging and swearing at a referee. The 29-year-old believes that "everyone wants to see me muck up", but his disciplinary record on England duty consists of only three yellow cards. Jones hopes he will restore the combative edge to England's pack, while "hoping and praying" that he does not transgress.

ENGLAND NOT NEW ZEALAND

There was much to applaud about Stuart Lancaster's regime, but the repeated references to the All Blacks as the benchmark were wearying. Upon his appointment, Jones outlined his determination to revive traditional Red Rose strengths of a bullying pack and strong set-piece, using them as the foundations for his quest to guide England back to the summit of world rugby. He has had only two weeks to put his stamp on the team, but expectations are high.

WAS SCOTLAND'S WORLD CUP A NEW BEGINNING?

The Scots were the best performing of the Six Nations teams at the World Cup, going within an erroneously-awarded penalty of toppling Australia to reach the semi-finals. They rode their luck at times against the Wallabies, who took to the field with an air of complacency, but there were grounds for genuine optimism - among them the creative edge offered by half-backs Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell and a strong scrum.

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