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Farrell predicts close contest

Andy Farrell insists the form guide is irrelevant when England face Scotland in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations showdown at Murrayfield.

It will be the 132nd meeting between the sides and while England start as odds-on favourites, they have lost on two of their last four visits to Edinburgh and drawn on a third occasion.

Farrell views the fixture as one of the jewels in the Six Nations' crown, boasting a rich history.

"Everyone likes to look at form, but that goes out the window in a game like this," he said.

"Look at the history of it. When England are playing well and are on a roll, all of a sudden something different hits you and you've got to deal with that. That's why they're always close and feisty contests.

"This game, more than most games in a Six Nations, shows what makes the competition truly special.

"The southern-hemisphere people don't truly get the rivalry and how much the home fans want to win against England or Wales or whoever.

"The history and rivalry between these nations is what makes it absolutely special.

"Mike Catt (attacking skills coach) had a text from Will Carling this morning saying 'Tell the lads to remember 1990'. Bloody hell, that is nearly 24 years ago!

"You must expect the unexpected. It brings a bit of excitement to the occasion."

Farrell is surprised by Scotland's decision to drop captain and openside Kelly Brown.

"Firstly I'm gutted for Kelly Brown. I know him well and what he brings," he said.

"I know how Kelly makes the group feels. Especially as captain, it's not just how you perform it's how you make other people feel as well. He's a special type of bloke like that."


From Belfast Telegraph