Captain Stuart Hogg urges Scotland players to make history against England

George Sessions, PA
·3-min read

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg is excited by the prospect of creating history when they start their 2021 Guinness Six Nations campaign against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The oldest rivalry in rugby will reach a historical landmark when the pair clash in the 150th anniversary of their first meeting in Edinburgh back in 1871.

Gregor Townsend’s side clinched Calcutta Cup success as recently as three years ago, but that triumph was on home turf and Scotland’s wait for a victory at Twickenham stretches back to 1983.

Gregor Townsend
Gregor Townsend’s side won the Calcutta Cup three years ago (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Captain Hogg said: “For us it is another opportunity to represent Scotland and another chance to create our own bit of history.

“We feel we have prepared well and we are in a good place, but it counts for nothing unless we turn up.

“It is the 150th year of the game and a special occasion, but hopefully one where we can create a little bit of history in.”

Scotland have made big strides in recent years and are now eager to marry up a watertight defence with attacking flair led by fly-half Finn Russell.

Finn Russell
Finn Russell inspired Scotland to a draw at Twickenham in 2019 (Adam Davy/PA)

It was a talismanic performance by the Racing 92 ace at Twickenham in 2019 which secured an unlikely 38-38 draw for the visitors despite trailing by 31 points in the first half.

A poor start, like was the case four years ago in a record-equalling defeat, put Scotland on the back foot on that day but Hogg wants a “new chapter” to get under way this weekend on a positive note.

“I think the good thing for us is we have a lot of experience in squad, those who have been there through the tough times and been there through the good times as well,” he said.

“We have a lot of exciting young talent coming through that have kept all the boys on our toes. I think the beauty of this is we can’t change anything that has happened in the past. We are very much in control of what will happen in the future.

Steve Tandy
Steve Tandy has made a real impact as Scotland’s defence coach (Niall Carson/PA)

“It is pointless to look back. Yes we can take a lot of experience from it but we’re ready to move on and start a new chapter.”

Defence coach Steve Tandy has made a real impact in the Scottish camp since his arrival at the end of 2019.

In Scotland’s three Six Nations wins last year, it was their work out of possession which caught the eye, but head coach Townsend has reiterated their aim is to be more attack-minded this time around.

That view is shared by Tandy, who said: “There will definitely be nerves flying around in my belly, but there is an excitement and you have to evolve the game.

“Defence isn’t in isolation. There is no point having a reasonable defence but not be winning games. I see it as a collective.

“When we haven’t got the ball, we try to get it back for us to get on the attack. In particular with some of the football players we have got, there is so much exciting talent so for us defence is not in isolation.

“It is a joined up approach and we want to get better. I know Gregor has mentioned the attack, but our defence needs to get better and we have to test ourselves against the best, which we will do at the weekend.”