Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Farrell ready for Murrayfield chaos

Assistant coach Andy Farrell is confident England's inexperienced side can thrive on the hostility, history and "chaos" that lies in wait for them in Saturday's Calcutta Cup showdown with Scotland.

England head into battle at Murrayfield with a side featuring three debutants in Phil Dowson, Brad Barritt and Farrell's 20-year-old son Owen, with five more uncapped players on the bench.

Murrayfield has been an unforgiving venue for England in recent years, with two defeats and a draw since their last Calcutta Cup win on Scottish soil in 2004. Scotland coach Andy Robinson warned of the "chaos" that lies ahead for those England newcomers - but Farrell said: "Is it hostile? It's a great place to play. I think it's exciting more than anything."

He added: "This is one of the theatres of world rugby. It is a dream to get your first cap and to do it in a Calcutta Cup game here at Murrayfield, with such history, is extra special. It is not daunting, it is one of excitement if anything. If you go on experience then of course we will be the underdogs - but we feel we have a side that is picked on form.

"We have got a lot of young guys in our side but guys who have been playing in massive matches of late. Chris is captain of a side at Harlequins that are right at the top of their game. We will be ready for any type of game that Scotland throw at us.

"Good players make the right decisions at good times. Clever teams are teams that are able to handle all different environments and we have got to be prepared for that."

Chris Robshaw will be England's most inexperienced captain since Nigel Melville in 1984, leading a new-look side in only his second Test appearance.

Mouritz Botha will make his first Test start in the second row while Charlie Hodgson is back in the England 10 jersey for the first time in four years.

"Playing at Murrayfield is never going to be easy but it is something we are looking forward to," said Robshaw.

"The young guys want to go out there and prove a point. They have been doing it for their clubs for so long and now they want to go out there and show the nation what they can do."


From Belfast Telegraph