Scotland: Gregor Townsend already has sights set on Calcutta Cup

Dylan Coetzee

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend is already looking ahead to next year’s Six Nations opener against England, having finished their Autumn Nations Series campaign.

Townsend’s men ended the end-of-year Tests with two wins from four against Fiji and Argentina whilst losing out against Australia and New Zealand.

Strong Twickenham record

The Scots boast an impressive record at Twickenham in recent years and are unbeaten in their last two visits and the head coach is looking to go into the game against the Red Rose with confidence after a decisive eight-try win against Argentina last weekend.

England are always going to be tough at Twickenham,” Townsend said.

“Although we won there the last time (in 2021), we are aware there were no supporters there that day (due to the Covid lockdown).

“It’s a real challenging place to play. We’ve gone there the last two occasions and come away with a draw and a win so we’ll go there with confidence.

“We’ll cross our fingers that we have everybody to select from but it’s a great game to start the Six Nations with, as we have done the last couple of years. It’s a good one for us to get our focus back on to improve our performance.”

Townsend is delighted that his team have three home games in next year’s Six Nations, against Ireland, Wales and Italy. The head coach believes it will be good for the home support and logistics.

“It’s good for the country,” he said.

“To play three home games is obviously better than playing three away games because you’ve got the supporters here and, from a coaching perspective, there’s less travel so it’s an easier week to manage.

“That home support gives you more energy and it’s about harnessing that energy into scoring more points than the opposition.”

Test rugby is competitive

Townsend admits international rugby is becoming more and more competitive, making the Six Nations a hard tournament to call.

“The Six Nations is its own standalone tournament so you’ve got the crowds, the form of teams comes up for those big games, and nothing is consistent,” he added.

“There will be teams that play really well one week and not as well the next week. World rugby is very competitive just now.

“Argentina have knocked off New Zealand and England and they didn’t win over the last two weekends, and there are other teams in similar situations.

“Italy have been very good. They finished the Six Nations beating Wales and since then they’ve gone up against Australia and looked really dangerous.”

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