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Pete Horne relishing challenge of taking on Owen Farrell

The players will line up at inside centre as Scotland take on England.

Pete Horne will line up opposite Owen Farrell
Pete Horne will line up opposite Owen Farrell

Pete Horne is relishing the chance to test himself against Owen Farrell when England travel to BT Murrayfield this weekend.

The two players will line up at inside centre on Saturday in the latest instalment of the Calcutta Cup as the NatWest 6 Nations reaches the third round.

Scotland have not had much success in the fixture in recent years – their last victory was in 2008 – and they are expected to once again come off second best against Eddie Jones’ clinical side.

Pete Horne is keen to test himself against Owen Farrell

For Horne, it is the chance to test himself against the best in the world in Farrell and he admits he is looking to try to emulate the Saracens fly-half/centre.

Horne was brought in to stand outside Finn Russell and help dictate the attack for Gregor Townsend’s side, and try to replicate the partnership Farrell shares with George Ford south of the border.

“You play the game to play against the best players in the world and looking across from me will probably be Owen Farrell, and he’s probably one of the best players in the world,” Horne said.

“For me personally, it’s really exciting. You want to test yourself against these guys and see where you’re at.”

On the Ford/Farrell combination, he added: “They’re both really special players. I think Farrell really helps Ford; Ford is a really talented and special player but Farrell outside him really makes him tick.

“He takes a lot of pressure off, they’re both fantastic at taking the ball to the line and drawing people onto them and then putting other people through.

“In the past some of our coaches have spoken to Sarries (Saracens) coaches and been to training with them, and I have picked up lots of little drills that Owen does after training to try and help my game.

George Ford and Owen Farrell have developed a strong partnership in midfield

“He’s a really special player and I’m excited to have a crack against him.”

Scotland’s unfavourable record against England is something that has played on the minds of the players since the France game, particularly after the 61-21 thrashing at Twickenham last year, and Horne is aware of the daunting challenge the number two ranked side in the world pose.

He is hoping they can use the recent barren run as motivation come Saturday.

The Glasgow playmaker said: “No one likes getting beaten, especially year on year so if anything it just fuels our fire.

“We’re desperate to turn it around and get a good win for us and for the country.

“We understand it will be a massive challenge. There’s a reason they have beaten us 10 years in a row – they are a fantastic side, but it’s a challenge we cant wait to get stuck in to.”

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