Eddie Jones insists Tom Curry is the perfect choice to lead England into their Six Nations campaign as he compared his new captain to New Zealand great Richie McCaw.

With Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes ruled out through injury, Curry was named as skipper on Thursday ahead of this weekend's opening clash against Scotland.

At the age of 23, Curry becomes England's youngest captain since 22-year-old Will Carling in 1988, yet the youngster already has 36 senior caps to his name.

Curry also has experience of representing the British and Irish Lions, and England boss Jones is comfortable with his choice to hand the Sale Sharks flanker the armband.

"Captaincy is not about the number of caps, it's about the person who can lead a group of players by example," Jones said at his pre-match news conference.

"There is no better player in our squad than Tom to do that. He reminds me of a young Richie McCaw."

McCaw earned 148 Test caps for New Zealand across a celebrated career that saw him win two World Cups and three World Player of the Year awards.

England begin their quest for a fourth Six Nations title in seven attempts under Jones with a trip to Scotland on Saturday.

The Red Rose have won only one of the past four Calcutta Cup clashes, having previously won eight in a row, which Jones believes makes his side second favourites this week.

"It's all about getting the team on the front foot. That goes in line with how we want to play the game," Jones said.

"We want to go up there and take Scotland on. It's the first time I'm going up there as underdogs and where Scotland are red-hot favourites. They're expected to win.

"Every time the players will look at the crowd, they will feel that expectation. They've got to cope with that. There will be 62,000 fans and they'll be thinking about all the fans watching on TV. They've got to carry that burden. Every game is the same for us.

"We're always expected to win, so it's no different for us. We've had a really good preparation and feel we have enough in our set-piece to get an advantage."

England have included seven players with 10 caps or fewer in their starting XV for the showdown at Murrayfield.

Scotland have gone with a more experienced side, with the headline news being Jonny Gray's return after missing the autumn series through injury.

Stuart Hogg will once again captain the side at full-back, with replacement Ben White the only uncapped player in the squad.

 

Scotland team: Hogg (c); Graham, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Sutherland, Turner, Z Fagerson, Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson.

Replacements: McInally, Schoeman, Nel, Skinner, M Bradbury, White, Kinghorn, Tuipulotu.


England team: Steward; Malins, Daly, Slade, Marchant; Smith, Youngs; Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Itoje, Isiekwe, Ludlam, Curry (c), Simmonds.

Replacements: George, Marler, Stuart, Ewels, Dombrandt, Randall, Ford, Nowell.

Alun Wyn Jones will surpass Richie McCaw's record tally of 148 caps for his country when Wales face New Zealand in a mouthwatering Autumn Nations Series clash on Saturday.

Wales captain Jones matched legendary former All Blacks captain McCaw's astonishing number of Test appearances when he faced Scotland last year.

The British and Irish Lions skipper will set a new record for games played for a country at Principality Stadium this weekend.

Jones, who has played in 12 Lions Tests, will lead out a Wales side that has a blend of experience and youth.

 

Taine Basham made his first start at international level in the back row and Gareth Anscombe makes his return at fly-half against his country of birth over two years after his last Test appearance.

Anscombe has impressed after spending such a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Ken Owens was initially selected at hooker, but has since been replaced by Ryan Elias due to a back injury, with Kirby Myhill named on the bench.

Hooker Elliot Dee has been released from the Six Nations champions' squad due to a neck injury.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: "To win a World Cup you have to play against teams like New Zealand at some stage in the tournament and you have to win those games.

"It’s going to be a great experience for those guys who haven't played a lot of test rugby and they'll certainly know they’ve been in a match afterwards."

Wales have won only three of 35 Tests against the All Blacks ahead of the showdown in Cardiff.

 

Wales: Johnny McNicholl, Owen Lane, Jonathan Davies, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Seb Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Ben Thomas.

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