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Six Nations 2024: Scotland v England – Finn Russell is ready for the visitors to attack

Six Nations 2024: Scotland v England – Finn Russell is ready for the visitors to attack

  • Written by Tom English
  • BBC Scotland senior sports writer

Comment on the photo, Finn Russell (left) is expected to receive special attention from England

Guinness Six Nations 2024: Scotland v England

place: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh date: Saturday 24 February Starting: 16:45 GMT

coverage: Broadcast live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland Extra and live transcript on the BBC Sport website and app

Finn Russell says Scotland cannot get caught up in “history and emotion” as they attempt to complete a historic quadruple in a row in the Calcutta Cup on Saturday.

This will be the first time in more than half a century that Scotland has won four consecutive Tests against England. However, this race included the Rugby Football Union Centenary Match. The Scots have not beaten England in four successive matches in the tournament since 1896.

“It's about believing in ourselves and trusting the work we've done,” says the co-captain and fly-half.

“At times, we will be under pressure and it will be difficult, but we can have faith and confidence in ourselves and hopefully we can take advantage of some of the opportunities that will come our way.

“The learning from the World Cup is not to go into our shell when we are under pressure. There were chances against South Africa that we did not see on the pitch because we went into our shell a little bit.”

He said: “We want to get ourselves back on track. In the last few seasons, we have won three games out of five, so we are looking to progress and achieve even more this season.

“This means winning the next three matches, which is not easy. We are not satisfied with beating one or two teams in this competition. Our expectations and goal are to continue progressing year after year after the disappointment against France.”

As always, the introduction to the Calcutta Cup revolves largely around Russell and his unique brand of football. The Bathfly Half will play against England for the ninth time.

He lost his first three and won his last three. Sandwiched between them is the impressive 25-13 win – and Russell's famous pass – in 2018 and the even more remarkable 38-38 draw at Twickenham which saw another fine display from the fly-half in a memorable second half.

Russell has won four of the past five Calcutta Cups and tied the other, so England will have plans for him.

As South Africa did in France, England will deploy a blitzing defence. Ireland's Felix Jones was on Springbok's World Cup training squad and is now with England, plotting what he hopes will be Russell's downfall, no doubt.

“We have to be able to adapt. Sione and I [Tuipulotu] And hoo [Jones] You must be on the same page. The more compatible we are, the better.

“If they try to stop me, it might mean we have to go through Sione or Blair [Kinghorn] Or anyone else further to create opportunities.

“The ten control a lot of the attack, but it's not just up to me to create things. We will look to use the other boys.”

Russell was not aware that his rival captain, Jimmy George, suffered great grief last week when his mother died. He had supportive words for a man he greatly respected.

“I got along really well with Jimmy on the Lions tour in 2021,” he recalls. “Great man, I'm really sorry to hear that. I'm going to text him now to send my condolences.

“This is a tough thing to deal with. It's terrible for him, but I hope he and his family are okay.”

Russell also had words of admiration for George's team, a team in transition.

He pointed out that “the World Cup showed how good the team is.”

“They won their first two [Six Nations] matches and they are back to where they should be as one of the best teams in the world. We may have gotten green in the last few years, but it can change very quickly in sports.

video caption, Six Nations 2024: Mooney and Barkley face 'skating' challenge.