England are hoping to reboot themselves at Scotland’s expense on Saturday with a revived pack and a more mobile gameplan as they seek to re-emerge as a Six Nations force under the new head coach, Steve Borthwick, and his assistant, Kevin Sinfield.
Borthwick will confirm the precise makeup of his rejigged side on Thursday, with the Sale flanker Ben Curry in line to win only his second cap in the absence of his injured twin brother, Tom. Barring a late rethink, the London Irish 24-year-old Ollie Hassell-Collins is set for a debut on the left wing with Manu Tuilagi missing from the matchday squad.
It is also understood that the Harlequins centre Joe Marchant will feature in midfield with Elliot Daly, Henry Slade and Dan Kelly all sidelined through injury. Tuilagi has looked short of his best form for Sale lately while picking the Harlequins pair of Marchant and Marcus Smith either side of Owen Farrell may open up a different range of attacking and cross-kicking options.
With the experienced Dan Cole also back in the mix, the other priority will be to solidify the scrum and lineout and to move on from the disappointments of the autumn which ended with England being booed off at Twickenham after a 27-13 defeat by South Africa.
Meanwhile, the Atlas consortium has been announced as the new owner of Worcester. The club’s administrator, Begbies Traynor, confirmed the exchange of contracts with the group, led by Jim O’Toole, the club’s former chief executive, though the RFU is yet to approve the deal.
Also, the women’s team have been given conditional offers to rejoin the Premier 15s. The club, along with Sale, were omitted from the list of eight clubs selected to compete in December.