Rory Sutherland is hoping Scotland can “do a job” on England in their Six Nations opener at Twickenham.
Gregor Townsend’s side begin their campaign with a Calcutta Cup clash on Saturday, but history is not on the Scots’ side as they have not won away to England since 1983.
They did earn a memorable 38-38 draw two years ago though, and while loosehead prop Sutherland acknowledges the task is a tough one, he is not fazed by the challenge.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 1, 2021
“England have won the last Six Nations and they’ve got an Autumn Nations Cup there as well, so we’ll be going down there with a lot of respect,” Sutherland said.
“But it’s a new campaign. It is a great feeling to be back in camp and everyone is really looking forward to it and getting ready to get back into the game.
“We’re coming in and preparing as we would any match, looking at England and all different aspects of their game – their attack, their defence.
“We’ll prepare for it as well as we can this week and do the best we can to go and do a job on them.”
Professional sporting fixtures continue to be played behind closed doors in the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing lockdowns.
“Obviously, this has been talked about a lot in the past year, Sutherland said. “It is very strange playing without crowds.
“In these times it is all about creating your own atmosphere, creating a buzz yourself as a team. You need to go there and bring your own energy. We need to do that when we go down.
“(It is a chance) for us to be able to lift the nation. We’re going through really tough times at the moment and we’re taking all the precautions we can to make sure we get through and come out the other side doing really well.”
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first Calcutta Cup match in 1871.
Edinburgh front row Sutherland, who returned to the Scotland side in 2020 after a four-year absence and is poised to win his 12th cap, is proud to be involved.
“It’s extremely special and really special for me, just being back involved in the Scottish team in the past year or so,” Sutherland said. “Getting a few starts last year was really nice.
“To be involved again for this match is very special to me and I’m really looking forward to it.”