It’s a new-look England that will take the field at Murrayfield on Saturday, as the Red Rose take on a more settled Scotland side in their Six Nations opener (Scotland 5/4, draw 18/1, England 4/6 – Match Betting).
With a host of injuries leading into the 2022 Six Nations, head coach Eddie Jones has had his hand forced and names a side that does not have a wealth of experience.
Seven of the starting XV have ten caps or less for England, with plenty riding on the shoulders of five-cap star fly-half Marcus Smith.
Smith goes head-to-head with Scotland No.10 Finn Russell (58 Test caps) in what should be an intriguing battle between two of the most creative stand-offs in the game.
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Scotland have named all eight players who featured on the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa last summer, with Russell, skipper Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris, Duhan van der Merwe, Ali Price, Rory Sutherland, Zander Ferguson and Hamish Watson all starting.
England do have some much-needed experience in their forwards, with the likes of Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje and Tom Curry all in from the off for what should be another fierce Calcutta Cup clash in Edinburgh.
Saturday also sees an all-Celtic showdown in Dublin to kick-start the tournament, with Ireland and Wales going head to head (Ireland 1/7, draw 33/1, Wales 5/1 – Match Betting).
Much like England, Wales have been hampered with injuries, with skipper Alun Wyn Jones the biggest loss to Wayne Pivac’s side.
Winger Josh Adams has been brought into the centres for the first time in his international career and partners Nick Tompkins in the midfield.
Plenty of responsibility rests on fly-half Dan Biggar as he skippers the side in the absence of Wyn Jones.
As for Ireland, much like Scotland, they have been blessed with very few injuries going into the tournament.
Johnny Sexton starts for his 102nd Test cap for his country and partners Jamison Gibson Park in the half-backs.
The explosive partnership of Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose looks like it could cause the Welsh defence a host of problems in the game that kick-starts all the drama of another chapter in Six Nations history.
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