White: England won’t be complacent

Scotland captain Jason White insists England will not be complacent when the teams meet in the Six Nations Championship at Murrayfield on Saturday. [more]

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Scotland captain Jason White insists England will not be complacent when the teams meet in the Six Nations Championship at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The hosts will be underdogs when they face an England team unbeaten in this year’s event but White is adamant Scotland’s win over France in the opening game has seen them earn the respect of their opponents.

White is well qualified to comment as he plays his club rugby for Premiership high-flyers Sale Sharks and is in regular contact with a number of English players.

White said: "The big thing I noticed when I went back to Sale was that they had a big respect for the way we played against France.

"That has removed any chance of teams being complacent about us, so we will be expecting every team to be giving everything in every game we play.

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"The three Sale players who are in the England team are really nice guys who work hard at their game and I don’t think they are going to be too arrogant or too complacent. They have all been quite down to earth about the game and have shown Scotland plenty of respect."

While complacency might not be an issue White has seen enough in his time in England to know the Auld Enemy are beatable – as long as Scotland put them under the same sort of pressure as they did France.

"I know the guys at Sale very well, I know they are good players, but I also know that if they are put under pressure they are no different to anybody else – they will make mistakes," he said.

England playmaker Charlie Hodgson is one of White’s team-mates at Sale but the stand-off can expect few favours on Saturday with the Scotland captain singling him out as a key figure for the opposition.

"He’s playing very well at the moment and he doesn’t need me to talk him up. But he is just like any other player – if you put him under pressure then it makes his day a lot harder. So we’ll have Alli Hogg going for him off the back of the line-out and trying to close his space down."

White believes the forwards will also be vital, where Scotland must achieve parity but cannot allow the English to turn the game into a wrestling match.

"We know that they have got eight guys who are very big and enjoy the physical approach to rugby, so the first thing we need to do is match them in the scrum and in the tight play; but it is very important that we don’t get drawn into a forward battle. We’ll front-up but we will play our own game," White explained.

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