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Former lock Doddie Weir backs Scotland for Calcutta Cup success

The former Scotland lock forward is anticipating glory at Murrayfield.

Former international Doddie Weir is backing Scotland to upset England’s Grand Slam bid when they contest the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday.

England have held the trophy since 2009 and won the corresponding fixture at Twickenham last season 61-21.

However, lock forward Weir, who pulled on the Scottish jersey on 61 occasions, is convinced this could be the year it is wrenched from their grasp.

Asked how he saw the game going, he said with a smile: “It’s only one way, isn’t it? History.

“It’s not been a good hunting ground for Scots in the past. They had a bad encounter last year.

“I just think if it’s going to be any year, it’s going to be this year. The anticipation is quite interesting and exciting. I would hope they do very well and I think this year, Scotland might edge it.”

The Scots suffered a bruising introduction to this years NatWest 6 Nations Championship when they were trounced 34-7 in Wales, although they bounced back with a 32-26 home win over France to boost confidence ahead of an eagerly-anticipated clash with the auld enemy.

Weir said: “Scotland sometimes don’t fire when they think they’re the favourites in a game, and that was an occasion there down in Wales. But anyway, they have re-grouped and it’s exciting that they have got the show back on the road.”

That said, Weir admits Scotland will have to play with their heads rather than their hearts if they are to get past Eddie Jones’ men.

He said: “They have got the passion, they have got the crowd, they have got the home environment and with any luck, that’s what should make the difference.

“The English are on fire, they’re a very strong side, they have got very clever players, so you just have to try to not out-muscle them, but maybe out-think them.”

Weir’s comments came as he launched former club Newcastle Falcons’ charity shirt, which they will wear in their Aviva Premiership clash with Northampton Saints at St James’ Park on March 24.

All proceeds from the shirt will go to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation which was set up by the second row after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last year.

Weir’s ultimate aim is to find a cure for the terminal condition with only one drug currently available to patients.

The 47-year-old said: “From that side, it’s frustrating because there are no options really available to anyone who has this disease.

“On the back of that, we’re still here, we’re eating, sleeping, talking, driving and everything, so in some fashion, things are not too bad. We’re on a great journey and other people with this horrific disease don’t really have that sort of luck.

“If anything, I’m quite lucky, quite fortunate and still smiling. But eventually you won’t be able to walk, you won’t be able to eat, you won’t be able to really breathe and that’s not a great future.

“That’s why we need to make more awareness and try to get more done.”

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