Six Nations 2021: Scotland call up uncapped duo and Rae for Wales clash

By Sports Desk February 08, 2021

Uncapped duo George Taylor and Charlie Shiel have been called up to the Scotland squad for the Six Nations clash against Wales along with D'Arcy Rae.

Gregor Townsend drafted in centre Taylor, scrum-half Shiel and prop Rae for the round-two encounter at Murrayfield on Saturday between two sides on a high following winning starts.

Rae earned his only cap against Ireland in 2019, coming off the bench in a 22-13 loss.

Ewan Ashman, Blair Kinghorn, Jamie Dobie and Rufus McLean have been released back to their clubs.

Scotland dominated defending champions England on the opening day of the tournament, ending a 38-year wait for a win at Twickenham with an 11-6 victory on Saturday.

Captain Stuart Hogg said they will remain grounded after regaining the Calcutta Cup.

The full-back, who was named man of the match in the defeat of Eddie Jones' side, said: "We are not going to get ahead of ourselves. We will enjoy this one, no doubt, but then it is on to Wales next week.

"We'll get back on the horse and ready to go because next week is another challenge for us and one we're really excited about."

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  • Henry Arundell impresses his captain with five-star show as England rout Chile Henry Arundell impresses his captain with five-star show as England rout Chile

    Henry Arundell was praised by captain Owen Farrell for delivering a complete performance after the England wing starred in a 71-0 rout of Chile that offers clear sight of the World Cup quarter-finals.

    Arundell crossed five times at Stade Pierre-Mauroy to equal the record for the number of tries scored in a match by an Englishman and was duly recognised with the man of the match award.

    While the 20-year-old wing starred on his World Cup debut through his clinical finishing, it was the unseen, unglamorous work that caught Farrell’s eye.

    “Everybody knows what talent Henry’s got. He’s shown it before this game,” Farrell said.

    “He’s shown it for London Irish and he showed it when he got his first touch in international rugby against Australia last year.

    “A big thing that Henry showed against Chile was that he got after everything in between. He didn’t just finish tries. He got balls back in the air, he chased hard and worked hard for the team.

    “Ultimately, he got his rewards off the back of that. He does what he does unbelievably well.”

    England amassed 11 tries against the weakest team in Pool D as their attacking game exploded into life, inspired by Marcus Smith’s lively contribution in his first start at full-back.

    Smith scored two tries, including a superb solo effort, and provided a cutting edge to suggest he could be a long-term option in the position.

    “Marcus played really well. The decisions he made, he looked dangerous constantly, as he normally does,” Farrell said.

    “All I can say is I enjoyed it and I thought he played really well. George Ford added when he came on as well.”

    Smith’s performance was acclaimed by head coach Steve Borthwick, who brought on Ford for the last half hour as England closed out the game with three fly-halves on the field.

    Once the 24-year-old Smith had recovered from butchering two early chances, he dazzled Chile with his speed, footwork and creativity.

    “Marcus did a lot of very good things. Playing at 15, there is a different amount of space there compared to playing at 10,” Borthwick said.

    “The way Marcus took those opportunities, found the space and linked with Henry in particular was a positive. It shows there is a lot of hard work from everybody on the training field.

    “There was a lot of exciting talent on the pitch. This squad is packed full of talent and packed full of options. The starting configuration did a really good job after working through a challenging spell.

    “To be able to change that during the game and have Owen, George and Marcus on the pitch brought another dimension and certainly gives options for the future.”

    Chile captain Martin Sigren admitted his World Cup newcomers are a work in progress.

    “It’s a tough lesson. Four years ago we were getting the same result against Canada and the USA,” Sigren said.

    “We were losing games against Brazil. Four years later look at us – we’re here, so I have to hold on to that.

    “We will keep on working. Maybe four years later the results will be different.”

  • Five-try Henry Arundell has World Cup debut to remember as England crush Chile Five-try Henry Arundell has World Cup debut to remember as England crush Chile

    Henry Arundell plundered five tries as England overcame a frantic start to dismantle World Cup newcomers Chile with a 71-0 victory that continues their march towards the quarter-finals.

    Steve Borthwick’s team were rewarded for discarding their unpopular kicking game in favour of all-out attack and although the strategy resulted in some frenzied early play, upon settling they amassed 11 tries.

    Arundell marked his World Cup debut by equalling the England record of five tries scored in a game as he ran riot in perfect conditions at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

    Two-try Marcus Smith shared star billing after providing an extra dimension with the ball in hand from full-back – albeit against a side positioned 22 in the global rankings.

    Apart from brief flourishes Chile were totally outclassed, yet there were still enough fireworks in Smith’s first start at 15 to suggest he is a genuine option in the position for the final group game against Samoa and possibly beyond.

    Owen Farrell returned from suspension to lead England for the first time at this World Cup and his 16-point haul leaves him just two short of eclipsing Jonny Wilkinson’s national record of 1,179.

    England had kicked more than other team across the opening two rounds of the tournament but their intent to run against the group’s weakest opponents was evident from the start.

    Smith settled quickly through some early touches but his play lacked accuracy and once the initial assault subsided, Chile showed their flair for counter attack that on one occasion swept them into the 22.

    Max Malins’ high error count was proving costly but England built pressure once more and in the 21st minute they were over when Farrell’s long pass gave Arundell an easy run in.

    Theo Dan finished a line-out drive and then supplied Arundell with the easiest of tries after Danny Care’s quickly taken free-kick caught Chile unaware.

    After the over-exuberance displayed in the opening quarter, England were showing greater accuracy as the ball was swept left to right, aided by quick ruck speed and a desire to make things happen.

    Smith launched an attack that ended in a try for Bevan Rodd and then the Harlequins fly-half claimed a solo touchdown by collecting his own grubber and outrunning Chile’s defence.

    Chile were unable to secure any kind of foothold in the game with their scrum especially vulnerable and early in the second half they leaked a second line-out maul try, with Dan touching down.

    Arundell completed his hat-trick after Elliot Daly’s smart kick bounced kindly for him and Smith’s comfort at full-back was clear when he caught a tricky kick with aplomb.

    Having claimed three easy finishes, Arundell showed his class for his fourth which he engineered with a run down the right touchline and chip ahead.

    A moment of magic from Smith teed up the Racing 92 wing’s fifth and when Smith broke from deep from inside his own half Chile must have been sick of the sight of him.

    The move ended with Smith crossing and England touched down for the final time through Jack Willis.

  • Liam Williams hails Wales for ‘digging in’ and working hard on World Cup bid Liam Williams hails Wales for ‘digging in’ and working hard on World Cup bid

    Liam Williams has hailed the work ethic behind Wales’ transformation from Six Nations also-rans to potential Rugby World Cup quarter-finalists.

    It is barely six months since Wales floundered on northern hemisphere rugby’s biggest stage.

    Their solitary win – a 29-17 victory over Italy in Rome – spared them the indignity of propping up the table.

    The Six Nations campaign also unfolded against a backdrop of major financial and contractual uncertainty in Welsh professional rugby, factors which almost led to a player strike as Wales prepared for a Six Nations appointment with England.

    Warren Gatland had returned for a second spell as head coach, but there was little opportunity for him to make an impact amid such off-field chaos.

    The World Cup build-up, though, began in late May as Gatland enjoyed 16 weeks of unbroken preparation – highlighted by punishing training camps in Switzerland and Turkey – leading into Wales’ World Cup opener against Fiji.

    And Wales will arrive at at the OL Stadium in Lyon on Sunday knowing that victory over Pool C rivals Australia would confirm a last-eight spot one game inside the distance.

    “We’ve worked hard as a group, everyone,” said Wales full-back Williams, who wins his 87th cap this weekend.

    “The pre-World Cup camps were hell, to be honest, but the boys have just been digging in. We are all on the right page.

    “If you had said six months ago that we would have played two pool matches and been at the top of the group with 10 points we would have bitten your hand off. We have just got to go and back that up on the weekend.”

    Central to the revival has been Gatland’s ability to get the best out of his players, something that he achieved repeatedly during an 11-year reign sprinkled with Six Nations titles, Grand Slams and World Cup semi-finals.

    Williams added: “He doesn’t really change. He has a laugh and joke sometimes, and when it comes down to work, then you just work.

    “That is what we have done for the last six months, and every other time I have worked under Warren. It doesn’t change too much.

    “Many years ago, he knew how to press the right button for me to get a reaction, to get me back playing well.

    “Being one of the older heads now, he doesn’t need to press any more buttons. I think he does with a couple of the younger boys, and he knows what ones to press to get the best out of them.

    “He just used to blank me! It used to really get on my nerves.

    “If I played well, I would be walking past him with a big smile on my face, and he would just walk past me, kind of thing.

    “It would really get me annoyed, then I would train in the week, work incredibly hard and play well again, and he would say, ‘I knew you would play well this week’. Little things like that, I guess.”

    Wales’ impressive fitness levels came to the fore during a pulsating 32-26 victory over Fiji, and they now face an Australian side on the brink of elimination if they lose.

    “The ball was in play was for 38 minutes (against Fiji) which is I think the highest of this Rugby World Cup so far,” Williams said.

    “It was a pretty crazy game, and we were glad to come away with the points in the end.

    “The ball wasn’t in play as much in the Australia-Fiji game (Australia lost 22-15) – I think it was 11 minutes down compared to our game.

    “They (Australia) have just lost to Fiji, so they are going to be going for blood, but we are taking it like any other game in the pool. We are going to try to win.”

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