Will Carling: Defeat to Scots won’t be forgotten

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ENGLAND are overwhelming 1/10 favourites to beat Scotland in the Calcutta Cup today but Will Carling has warned Stuart Lancaster that the home coach and his players will never be allowed to forget it if they lose.

The Scots last won at Twickenham in 1983 but former England captain Carling knows all about the seismic impact an upset would have. He was skipper when Scotland defied the odds to defeat the English in the Grand Slam decider at Murrayfield 25 years ago this month.

Carling lost once in 11 games against Scotland. Picture: Getty

Carling lost once in 11 games against Scotland. Picture: Getty

Carling warned: “If they lose to Scotland, they won’t forget it.”

He played 11 times against Scotland, losing just once, in the winner-takes-all 1990 match, and drawing 12-12 in 1989.

“Scotland had great players back then,” Carling said. “I think, sadly, Scotland had a slight dip in form which probably meant they haven’t won as many games as they would like against the English. But I think they’re starting to find some very good players, and I think they’ve got a very good coach and they’re improving. I’m hoping a little bit more edge will come back into it.

“When I first saw [stand-off] Finn Russell playing, I thought, ‘there’s a boy who looks like a chorister, who’s brilliant, he plays a great game’,” he added. “They’ve suddenly found some backs. They’ve always been good and competitive and attritional in the forwards, they’ve just lacked some midfield players.”


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