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  • 2012February 3

    England announces fresh-faced squad to play Scotland

    England announces fresh-faced squad to play Scotland

    England has announced its starting line up for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland, telegraph.co.uk reports.

    In a direct contrast to ex-coach Martin Johnson, caretaker Stuart Lancaster has opted for youth over experience; fielding three uncapped players in the form of Phil Dowson, Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell.

    The bench is equally populated by first-timers, with five of the potential seven replacements seeking their first cap. Amongst them are Rob Webber, Geoff Parling and Scarlets' Ben Morgan, who only recently announced his intention to play for England at international level.

    Collectively, the England squad has just 236 caps to its name, compared to Scotland's 501. Even captain Chris Robshaw has just one cap, after featuring in a match against Argentina in 2009.

    Always a grudge match, this year will be no exception; especially following Scotland coach Andy Robinson's comments about the "arrogant" English.

    Despite the coaches arriving for their pre-tournament press conference in their formal shirts, they left formality firmly behind with their rhetoric; Robinson calling the English approach to other teams during last year's World Cup "arrogant".

    Lancaster, meanwhile, brushed off the claims. Instead, he let the team's skills do the talking instead.

    "Stepping out at Murrayfield will be the acid test," he told BBC Sport. "We can talk and talk, but until we go out there, that is when we will find out."