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England's midfield conundrum ahead of Scotland clash

SPOTLIGHT: England assistant coach Kevin Sinfield has backed the returning Ollie Lawrence and Manu Tuilagi to bring more power to the visitors’ backline when they travel to Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday.


Both centres missed narrow victories for Steve Borthwick’s men over Italy and Wales to start a Six Nations campaign with two wins for the first time in five years.

Borthwick must now decide whether to split up the midfield partnership of Fraser Dingwall, who scored one of England’s two tries against Wales, and Henry Slade.

“Ollie and Manu bring power,” Sinfield said ahead of the trip to Murrayfield.

“Fraser and Henry offer a bit more ball movement and a bit more finesse at the line but what Manu and Ollie bring is they will kick the door down.

“It’s about trying to find the right balance for us this weekend. Ollie and Manu haven’t been in with us that long but we know them pretty well from the World Cup and what they’ve done previously.”


Borthwick will make at least one enforced change when he names his team on Thursday after scrumhalf Alex Mitchell was ruled out by a knee injury sustained in training.

His absence clears the path for 37-year-old Danny Care to win his 99th cap as a starter in Edinburgh, with Ben Spencer expected to start on the bench.

“Danny’s had a great career and I’ve loved working with him,” added Sinfield.

“He looks after himself really well and to still be playing at 37, you’ve got to be doing that early in your career.


“We all know the type of professional that he is and the experience he has. You can’t measure how valuable experience is because it gives confidence, belief and trust to those around him.”

England are looking to regain the Calcutta Cup for the first time in four years.

Scotland have won three consecutive meetings between the sides for the first time since the early 1970s.

Gregor Townsend’s men are looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat to France two weeks ago when they were controversially denied a match-winning try in the final act of the game.

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