Voyce anticipates ‘tasty encounter’

England back Tom Voyce has predicted "a very tasty encounter" when the world champions target their sixth successive Calcutta Cup victory against Scotland on Saturday. [more]

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England back Tom Voyce has predicted "a very tasty encounter" when the world champions target their sixth successive Calcutta Cup victory against Scotland on Saturday.

Scotland have only defeated England twice in the last 20 years, denying them a Grand Slam on each occasion in 1990 and 2000.

But unbeaten tournament leaders England look set for their biggest test so far in this season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, given how Scotland have responded to new coach Frank Hadden.

A stirring win against pre-tournament favourites France was followed by a battling display against Wales when the Scots dug deep after lock Scott Murray received a red card midway through the first half.

Murray will miss the England clash due to a three-week ban subsequently imposed on him, and his absence hardly increases Scottish prospects of a first win in the fixture for six years.

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Voyce though, who could continue at full-back for England if Josh Lewsey fails to recover in time from a shoulder injury, expects an intense Murrayfield encounter.

"It will be a crunch match," said Voyce, who is currently recovering from losing a couple of teeth during Wasps’ Premiership draw against Bristol.

"We have won two, we have still got two games to come on the road, and this is the next step we have got to take, beating these sides. It is a good test for us.

"The way the results have gone make this a very tasty encounter.

"We are fortunately the only team to win two from two, and if we can win against Scotland it gives us a good lead in the championship and it puts pressure on other teams to play rugby against us, which could work to our advantage.

"After this round of games, we will see what the standings are and see if England have a good opportunity to win the Grand Slam."

Voyce found himself pressed into full-back duty against Italy for what was his first RBS 6 Nations start, and although it proved a rigorous examination, he passed the test.

"I was glad to come away and say ‘look, I can play international full-back, I am safe at the back,’" he added.

"Everyone knows about my attacking abilities, but I wanted to prove more than anything how steady I can be at the back.

"I didn’t make any silly mistakes, I didn’t cost the team any tries or points, and when your team-mates are saying ‘you are solid at the back,’ that is a nice feeling to have."

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