Steve Borthwick makes shock selection call as one of England’s stars against Wales axed for Calcutta Cup clash

Adam Kyriacou
England duo Danny Care and George Furbank at training.

England duo Danny Care and George Furbank at training.

England have made five changes to their starting line-up that will face Scotland in the Six Nations, including the shock selection of George Furbank over Freddie Steward.

Steward was one of the Red Rose’s best players in the 16-14 victory over Wales at Twickenham last time out but head coach Steve Borthwick has opted for the Saint.

Furbank is set to be joined by Tommy Freeman and Elliot Daly in an unchanged wing combination as England attempt to wrestle the Calcutta Cup off their Six Nations rivals.

Jamie George skippers

Jamie George once again captains the England team while Ellis Genge, Dan Cole, Ollie Lawrence and Danny Care join Furbank in getting the nod for the Murrayfield clash.

The 142nd meeting between England and Scotland sees hooker George pack down with vice-captain Genge on the loosehead side and Cole at tighthead this weekend.

At lock, vice-captain Maro Itoje is paired with Ollie Chessum while the back-row sees Ethan Roots win his third cap at flank and he is joined by Sam Underhill and Ben Earl.

Veteran scrum-half Care links up with vice-captain George Ford in the half-backs while outside them Lawrence returns after injury alongside Henry Slade in jersey number 13.

Amongst the replacements, George Martin returns to an England matchday squad for the first time since the 2023 Rugby World Cup semi-final loss to South Africa in Paris.

Martin takes his place on the bench alongside Theo Dan, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Chandler Cunningham-South, Ben Spencer, Fin Smith and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

“We’re pleased with the start we’ve made to our Guinness Six Nations campaign but know that a difficult test awaits us in Edinburgh against an in-form Scotland team,” said Borthwick.

“The atmosphere is always special for any Calcutta Cup match and I’m sure this weekend’s game at Murrayfield will be no different.

“This group of players are looking forward to the challenge on Saturday and to creating some very special memories.”

England team to face Scotland

England: 15 George Furbank, 14 Tommy Freeman, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 George Martin, 20 Chandler Cunningham-South, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

Date: Saturday, February 24
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Chris Busby (Ireland), Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

READ MORE: Scotland boosted by trio’s return for Calcutta Cup showdown with England