April 25, 2019

Scotland lose forward Wilson for rest of Six Nations

11 February 2019, 10:25 | Anna Jefferson

England are the new favourites after they beat Ireland last week Credit getty images

Henry Slade of England celebrates after scoring his side's third try with teammate Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs right during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and England in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin

"It's going to be a different experience from past Six Nations as I have to fly back to France instead of staying in camp here", explained Russell. John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson, Sam Skinner, John Hardie, Dave Denton, Magnus Bradbury, Blade Thomson, Luke Hamilton, Lewis Carmichael and Cornell du Preez were all categorised as injured before last weekend's game, although a few of those players could come back into contention before the end of the tournament.

There is a reason why Joe Schmidt regularly picks the Connacht lock and while he didn't make Ireland's initial Six Nations squad, he paid back the faith shown in him in spades. Unlike in the first half, the Scots couldn't get a foothold in the Irish 22 or sustain an attack.

Russell is confident that the things that went wrong against Ireland can be put right in the French capital.

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw admitted their second-half errors cost them the game, saying, "We released the pressure valve". In the second we took the foot off the gas, allowed them into the game and they took control. "Because he is who he is that's going to happen and Johnny probably knew he was only going to play 20 minutes so he jammed it all into that time", Schmidt said. We launched off a line-out in the second half and Sean O'Brien reached the ball, ' explained Laidlaw.

The young stand-off didn't have the pace to go all the way but slung a long pass - which looked suspiciously forward - to the unmarked Earls, who scored the decisive try, converted by Carbery.

"We get huge confidence from each other, we know we're good enough and it was an incredible performance to beat a side with the quality that Scotland have".

Scotland remain ahead of Ireland in the table but with trips to Paris and Twickenham to come, grounds at which they last won in the Five Nations era, Townsend does not see his side as title contenders. "We'll need to be at our best if we are to win over there".

"We hold ourselves to a higher standard and the guys will be looking at that, those who made the mistakes, myself included".

"I think it's a really good away win for them (Ireland)", he said.

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