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Six Nations 2020: Scotland have set standard – Rory Lawson

Six Nations: Ireland 19-12 Scotland highlights
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 5live & BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Scotland set “a minimum standard” of performance against Ireland that needs to be improved upon throughout the Six Nations, says former captain Rory Lawson.

Scotland threatened a first win for 10 years in Dublin before losing 19-12.

Gregor Townsend’s side face England at Murrayfield on Saturday, with Eddie Jones’ men also losing their opener.

“It’s a huge, huge game – everything from now has to be getting better and better,” said the former scrum-half.

“The team put out a good performance that should’ve won them the game. It didn’t but that’s going to be the minimum standard.

“Scotland have to win the next game and look at the bonus point on Saturday as a positive when competing at the top end of this championship, not avoiding finishing bottom.

“The pressure is there. Pressure’s a privilege. England have more pressure than Scotland.

“They’ve come off the back of two of their worst performances in recent times – the World Cup final, absolutely destroyed by South Africa; and they go away to Paris, 20 points down, a good comeback but a million miles from a side of that quality and the performance you’d expect.”

‘Bring back Russell before Italy game’

Fly-half Finn Russell has again been omitted from the squad, having left the camp prior to the Ireland defeat after “breaching team protocol” during a drinking session.

Speaking on Monday, defence coach Steve Tandy had “no idea” whether Russell would feature in the championship but said Townsend was “in dialogue” with the player and that the coaching team were “looking for cohesion across these first two games”.

Lawson believes reintroducing Russell before the meeting with Italy in Rome on 22 February may be the correct strategy.

“It’s over to Finn to a certain extent to put his hat in the ring,” added Lawson.

“Adam Hastings was good [against Ireland] and good enough to merit being picked in that number 10 jersey.

“If Finn’s not starting, yes he can make a big impact off the bench, but with the media around and the issues that there were two weeks ago in the camp, why disrupt a positive feel, albeit in defeat from Dublin, for that?

“Bring him in the week before the Italy game and embed him back into the squad, if that’s going to happen at all.”

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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