England's Ludlam ready for 'war' with Scotland

Lewis Ludlam of England celebrates victory following the 2019 Quilter International match against Wales at Twickenham Stadium on August 11, 2019 in London
Lewis Ludlam of England celebrates victory following the 2019 Quilter International match against Wales at Twickenham Stadium on August 11, 2019 in London
Image: David Rogers/Getty Images

England flanker Lewis Ludlam expects Saturday's Six Nations clash with Scotland to be a "war" and says the hostile atmosphere at Murrayfield will bring out the best in him.

England are aiming to avenge a 25-13 defeat by the Scots at the same venue two years ago when tempers flared following the pre-match warm up and players from both teams were involved in a scuffle near the tunnel.

England head coach Eddie Jones has told his players to expect more provocation but Ludlam, 24, said England will relish the challenge.

"They hate us and we hate them. There is no difference," Ludlam told the British media.

"It's just another place to go. It's going to be a war and it's something we're excited for.

"Personally I love that. I love being the team everyone is rooting against... people being against you has got a way of really revving you up."

England's wing Anthony Watson has again been ruled out of the match with a calf injury.

Watson was absent from England's opening 24-17 defeat by France in Paris on Sunday with the same problem but it had been hoped he would be available in time for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash.

"Anthony felt it (the injury) again yesterday (Tuesday) and we won't consider him for Scotland," said England forwards coach Matt Proudfoot.

Manu Tuilagi had already been ruled out of the match after the powerful centre suffered a groin injury that saw him leave the pitch just 16 minutes into last weekend's match at the Stade de France.

In Paris, England coach Eddie Jones responded to being without Watson, a member of the side that lost to South Africa in last year's World Cup final, by switching Elliot Daly to the wing and giving a Test debut to fullback George Furbank.

Jones is set to continue playing flanker Tom Curry at number eight given that Billy Vunipola will miss the whole Six Nations with a broken arm.

Curry, however, struggled in his new role in Paris but Proudfoot had no doubt the 21-year-old could adjust given time.

"It's very difficult. Any part of the spine - two (hooker) five (lock), eight, nine (scrumhalf), 10 (flyhalf), 15 (fullback) - are tough positions," Proudfoot said.

"They're not positions you just need to be physically prepared for, you have to make decisions and be tactically prepared for them. That is a tough transition.

"But we couldn't make the transition if we didn't understand Tom Curry's potential, where he can play and what he can do as a player."

Jones is set to make at least two changes to his starting XV, with Jonathan Joseph, who came on for Tuilagi last week, set to be included.

Meanwhile lock Charlie Ewels, who started against France, was dropped from a 25-man squad announced  with Joe Launchbury, fit following a knee injury, taking his place.

- Reuters, AFP

 

 

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