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VIDEO: England coach Stuart Lancaster on the key battles he expects in Edinburgh

By mikebakerwmn  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

lancaster

England head coach Stuart Lancaster

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England and Scotland will attempt to recover from losing starts to the Six Nations campaign when they contest the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Here is a look at three likely key battles:

ROSS FORD V DYLAN HARTLEY

With heavy rain forecast for match-day, the line-out will be a key battleground demanding pinpoint accuracy. Ford had a dismal afternoon against Ireland missing his jumpers on five occasions and Scotland can ill-afford more wayward throwing. In contrast, Hartley hits his target with laser-guided accuracy. The England hooker, a dynamic force in the loose, is in a rich vein of form.

JIM HAMILTON V COURTNEY LAWES

The role of ‘enforcer’ is viewed as outdated in the modern game, but the collision between Hamilton and Lawes is a battle between two second-row hardmen. Operating on the edge of the laws, Hamilton is the furnace at the heart of Scotland’s pack and will carry the fight to England. Big-hitting Lawes is also a force of nature and has learnt to channel his enthusiasm.

CHRIS FUSARO V CHRIS ROBSHAW

“A ground feeder” is how Scotland coach Scott Johnson describes Fusaro and his classical openside skill set has displaced popular captain Kelly Brown from the matchday squad altogether, piling pressure on the Test debutant. Robshaw is less of a traditional openside, but his work-rate is exceptional and he consistently tops the carrying and tackling charts.

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