Gregor Townsend has played down the significance of last year’s mauling at Twickenham as Scotland prepare to host England next week.
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The Scots were humbled 61-21 in London 12 months ago and England head to Edinburgh for the third round of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations as heavy favourites for a comfortable win.
Townsend’s squad bounced back from a crushing defeat to Wales in this season’s opener by beating France, but there is still a suspicion they lack the experience to turn up in the crucial matches, which Welsh boss Warren Gatland exploited so effectively.
The Scotland head coach is aware there may still be some scars from that heavy defeat to England in 2017, but insists it will have no bearing on their upcoming meeting.
“I think last year is irrelevant because it was at Twickenham and it happened a year ago,” he said. “There will be parts to the game that we will look at because England played a certain way against us in attack and defence.
“Who knows what they will do in a week’s time but that was successful so they might do something similar, but the players have experienced that and we will use that to prepare.”
With so much expected of the Dark Blues this year following an impressive autumn, it was a shock to the system and perhaps another false dawn when they were thrashed 34-7 by Wales in Cardiff.
They showed character to come from behind and down France 32-26 at Murrayfield last Sunday, but Townsend conceded there is still a lot of room for improvement against Eddie Jones’ back-to-back champions.
He said: “We will have to take it up another couple of levels.
“We had opportunities we didn’t take and there were times we have to defend better.
“We know England are the number two team in the world and have been very consistent, you have to be on your game and do everything well to beat these top teams in the world.”
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