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Scotland v England: Sam Underhill was ‘naive’ before first trip to Murrayfield

Sam Underhill started for England in last weekend’s 24-17 defeat to France
Six Nations Championship: Scotland v England
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 8 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

England flanker Sam Underhill says he was “naive” to the emotion and intensity of the Calcutta Cup on his first trip to Murrayfield two years ago, but has vowed to embrace the occasion this time around.

The 23-year-old earned his sixth cap in England’s 2018 defeat by Scotland.

Now a regular in Eddie Jones’ team, Underhill knows what to expect in Edinburgh on Saturday.

“It was probably my first insight into the emotion of the occasion,” he said.

“Getting booed off the bus and seeing the reaction of the Scottish players when they won, and seeing the crowd and how much it meant to everyone.

“It’s definitely something to acknowledge and it’s definitely there, you can’t really ignore it, especially when it’s as loud as Murrayfield is.”

England were defeated by a resurgent French side in Paris last weekend in their first game since losing to South Africa in the World Cup final November.

Scotland are bidding to keep the Calcutta Cup for a third year running, after coming back from 31-0 down to draw 38-38 at Twickenham last year.

Underhill missed the entirety of the 2019 Six Nations after undergoing ankle surgery, but after his 2018 experience he knows the hostility of Murrayfield must be “embraced” by England on Sunday.

“You want to be in that position and you want to be under the most pressure you can be, because that means you are playing at the level you can play,” he added.

Rugby Union Weekly’s Chris Ashton makes his predictions for round two of the Six Nations.

‘We have got to support Tom Curry at eight’

Underhill impressed alongside Tom Curry in the back row at the World Cup, but the Sale flanker did not shine as he moved to number eight – replacing the injured Billy Vunipola – for the game in Paris.

Curry retains the number eight shirt for the Scotland clash, while Lewis Ludlam replaces Courtney Lawes at blind-side flanker.

And Underhill says that Curry has “worked tirelessly” at the change of position.

“Me and the other back row have got to support him in that role as much as possible,” he explained.

“It’s been impressive how well he has taken to it considering it’s a big shift. He hasn’t been daunted by it in the slightest. I hope it’s something he has success in because he’s a great guy to play with on the pitch. There’s no better way to learn than by doing it at this level.”

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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