Townsend looking forward to Twickenham opener

Townsend looking forward to Twickenham opener

Gregor Townsend's Scotland side kick-off their 2023 Guinness Six Nations campaign against England at Twickenham on Saturday week and the Head Coach is looking forward to the opening match of their campaign.

“We know what a big challenge going to Twickenham is,” Townsend said.

“While we played really well two years ago, there weren’t any spectators that day (amid the Coronavirus pandemic) so we know this is a bigger challenge. We believe the team is ready for that challenge.

“Accuracy and belief stand out. The accuracy in 2018 (at BT Murrayfield) especially our passing game, was excellent that day, and defensively we held firm.

“We talk around being more consistent. The last two Six Nations we’ve opened up with victories and haven’t followed them up in round two.

“We have to improve within games as well, which is what really encouraged me in the Autumn Nations Series this season.

“We went 14-0 down against New Zealand after seven minutes, and in the next 53 minutes we were 23-0 up on the scoreboard (Scotland scored 23 unanswered points). That takes a lot of leadership from the players and accuracy to get back and score the points.

“It’s being aware that things will sometimes go against you and maybe you will go behind. It’s dealing with it in the game, and the players did that really well in the autumn.

“I really believe our supporters come to our games believing that we can win.

“Expectation brings more demand, more responsibility, and I suppose criticism when you don’t reach those levels, which we have to take on board.”

Watch Scotland v England on Saturday 4 February (kick-off 4.45pm) live on STV and STV Player.

Tickets for Scotland v Italy on Saturday 18 March are available here.

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