‘The pressure is on England’ – Barclay

Date published: March 8 2017

Scotland captain John Barclay has downplayed his side's chances of beating England in their Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham on Saturday.

Although Scotland have not beaten England at Twickenham since 1983, Barclay instead opted to put the pressure on his opponents, who are trying to equal the All Blacks' world-record winning streak by claiming their 18th consecutive Test.

The 30-year-old Scarlets flanker admitted, however, that his side are capable of causing an upset this weekend.

"Putting expectation on ourselves doesn’t actually achieve anything," he said.

"But if we play well we can beat teams.

"We have the backs now who are scoring good tries – people like Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser. Alex Dunbar is so reliable, Finn Russell and others, these guys have something about them.

"They are exciting guys to play with but a lot of hard work goes into allowing them to have that X-Factor."

Barclay said Scotland are not concentrating on the hype around Saturday's fixture and are instead focusing on things which they can control themselves.

“Playing England down there, the Calcutta Cup and their run are all things that happen externally," he added.

“Expectations are there but we don’t put any undue pressure on ourselves. We kind of feel like the expectations are more on England. They’ve gone how many games unbeaten? We’ve only won two games this Six Nations.

“We feel there’s not much pressure on us. We are playing some good stuff which is maybe externally building a little bit of pressure. But within the group we’re not getting carried away.

“Within the group we’ve just looked at England and how best we can prepare for the game.

“Don’t get me wrong – it’s fantastic walking around with people being positive and saying nice things but I know how fast these things can change.

“We’ve won two games out of three whereas England have won 17 in a row. The expectation is one thing but if you’ve won 17 games in a row you’ve probably done more. Although it’s fantastic we’re in the position where we’ve won a couple of games.”


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