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RBS Six Nations – Williams Calls For Passion

RBS Six Nations – Williams Calls For Passion

Passion, sweat and blood were Scotland coach Matt
Williams’ watchwords ahead of today’s RBS Six Nations clash with world champions England at Murrayfield.

Passion, sweat and blood were Scotland coach Matt
watchwords ahead of today’s RBS Six Nations clash with world champions England at Murrayfield.

The Australian saw his first match end in a lacklustre 23-10
defeat by
Wales in Cardiff last weekend while reigning Six Nations kings
England began
their bid for back-to-back Grand Slams by sweeping aside Italy 50-9
in Rome.

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But Williams tried to diffuse a growing mood of national
pessimism, not
helped by the Scottish soccer team’s 4-1 defeat against Wales on
Wednesday, by
insisting his squad had not given up despite the predictions on both
sides of
the border that they were in for a Calcutta Cup thrashing.

“We’re really looking forward to it and we’re going to take
it on,”
Williams said ahead of his first match on ‘home’ soil.

“Every Scottish supporter leaving the ground on Saturday will
know that we
have given every drop of desire, passion, sweat and blood, if
necessary, to
win the game.

“The English are world champions but of course I believe it.
If I didn’t
believe it I would get out of here.”

Fine words but it is hard to make a case for anything other than
an England
They have won 23 of their last 24 Tests and 13 of their last 14
against Scotland.
The odd one out was Scotland’s 19-13 win at Murrayfield in 2000
denied England a Grand Slam.

But Clive Woodward’s side are tougher now and more adept at
adjusting their
game to the kind of appalling conditions that confronted them in
four years ago.

Scotland, by contrast, rebuilding after a host of World Cup
have few genuine game-breakers in their side.
Even David Sole, Scotland’s captain when they denied England a
Grand Slam
at Murrayfield back in 1990, could not see how the present side might
history. “In all honesty, the head says England by 20

However the fact that Scotland are such overwhelming underdogs may
give them inspiration to prove the doubters wrong.
Their defence, which at times was conceding overlaps on both sides
Wales will, however, have to be vastly improved if they are to stop
the likes
of fleet-footed England centre Jason Robinson, who ran in a hat-trick
of tries
against Italy.

But Woodward was refusing to take anything for granted saying
England had
to hit the ground running: “We need to start strongly – the
opening is very

Both sides have made changes from the opening weekend with
Williams calling
up Simon Webster in place of Andrew Henderson on the left wing with
Jason White also coming off the bench for Allister Hogg.

Woodward has made just one switch for the latest edition of rugby
oldest internationalk fixture with Chris Jones replacing injured
flanker Joe
Jones, who came off the bench against Italy to mark his Test debut
with the
last of England’s seven tries, is rated so highly by Woodward he has
to omit World Cup-winning flanker Neil Back.

Williams can only dream of such rich playing resources. But the
public are likely to keep faith with the new man just so long as
there is a
marked improvement from last week.
Victory though would not just be the biggest upset in rugby union
France came from behind to beat New Zealand in the 1999 World Cup
It would be one of the all-time great sporting shocks.

Ben Hinshelwood (Worcester/ENG); Simon Danielli (Bath/ENG), Tom
(Edinburgh), Brendan Laney (Edinburgh), Simon Webster (Edinburgh);
Paterson (Edinburgh, capt), Chris Cusiter (Borders); Simon Taylor
Cameron Mather (Glasgow), Jason White (Sale/ENG); Stuart Grimes
(Newcastle/ENG), Scott Murray (Edinburgh); Bruce Douglas (Borders),
Bulloch (Glasgow) Tom Smith (Northampton/ENG)
Replacements: Robert Russell (Saracens/ENG), Gavin Kerr
(Leeds/ENG), Nathan
Hines (Edinburgh), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh),
Parks (Glasgow), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow)

Iain Balshaw (Bath); Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Will Greenwood
(Harlequins) Jason
Robinson (Sale), Ben Cohen (Northampton); Paul Grayson (Northampton),
Gomarsall (Gloucester); Lawrence Dallaglio (Wasps, capt), Richard
(Saracens), Chris Jones (Sale); Ben Kay (Leicester), Danny Grewcock
Phil Vickery (Gloucester), Steve Thompson (Northampton), Trevor
Replacements: Mark Regan (Leeds), Jason Leonard (Harlequins),
Simon Shaw
(Wasps), Alex Sanderson (Sale), Matt Dawson (Northampton), Olly
(Bath), Henry Paul (Gloucester)

Referee: Pablo Deluca (ARG)

AFP – 2004