Elliot Daly insists England will be taking their Six Nations campaign one game at a time, but is looking forward to a historic clash against Scotland this weekend.

Saturday’s Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham will be the 139th playing of the world’s oldest international fixture, first played at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh in 1871.

Daly knows the significance of the fixture and is looking forward to putting in a performance to make England fans proud from afar.

“It’s an historical game and you understand what the Calcutta Cup means. Every time you play against Scotland you know that, but with 150 years behind you, it’s about going out there and doing the fans proud.

“They’ll not be there but hopefully we can put smiles on their faces on TV.”

He knows that Scotland will provide a tough test as they look to end a winless run in the fixture at Twickenham that stretches back to 1983, and is therefore focused only on the challenge of beating Gregor Townsend’s side.

“Scotland is always a tough game and they showed that the last time they came down to Twickenham that they are a team who never give up. It’s a challenge we’re looking forward to and it’s a great way to start the Championship.

“We always take one game at a time. I know that is a sitting on the fence answer, but that’s how Eddie [Jones] likes to go about things. You need to control what you can, and the controllables are ‘we’re playing this team on Saturday and this is what we want to get out of the game’.

“If you start thinking about stuff down the line, you miss stuff in games and in training.

“Hopefully we’ll get off the mark this weekend and we’ll have a tough Italy team coming to us and we’ll try and get another win there.”

Scotland will be boosted by the return of Finn Russell, who missed the majority of last year’s championship before injury ruled him out of the Autumn Nations Cup, and Daly is aware of the threats posed by the Racing 92 fly-half.

“He’s a quality player, isn’t he? He’s playing some good stuff at the moment and I played against him in the semi-final of Europe last year and he’s just a guy who makes them tick.

“He wants the ball in his hands to make things happen. It’s about doing what we can control and just being able to maybe shut him down or if he does pull something off and goes through a hole or kicks over the top and they regather, we’re back on to the next task and ready to go.”

Daly also reflected on a whirlwind encounter in 2019 that saw England charge into a 31-0 lead, before Scotland scored six unanswered tries and were within seconds of a historic victory at the home of English rugby, only for George Ford’s injury-time try tying the scores.

“We talked about it a lot, about putting teams away when you’re that far ahead,” Daly recalls of the 38-38 draw.

“I think it was a great game for us to learn from before the Rugby World Cup that whoever you are playing against, it doesn’t matter – they are international rugby players.

“Scotland on their day are a quality side and hard to play against.

“It was a great lesson to have before the World Cup that we have to close out these games if we want to win big competitions.”

Daly is also set for a return to action for the first time since the Autumn Nations Cup final win against France in December, but believes England can take confidence from winning that tournament as they look to defend their Six Nations title.

“In the Autumn, it was about what we can get out of the game and what we need to do win the game. We did that. We didn’t do it as we wanted to in the final, but we did it all the same and won, which was brilliant credit to all the players here.”

And the 28-year-old, a British and Irish Lions tourist in 2017, is focusing on making England fans proud throughout the Six Nations.

“For us, every time we go to Twickenham we don’t want to lose a game. We want to play our best rugby there and we always think about how lucky we are to play in a stadium like that.

“It’s not about the opposition, for us. It might happen in the future where Scotland win at Twickenham, but we don’t want to be the team that does that.  But more importantly we want to go out and make England proud.”

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