England v Scotland, Six Nations 2023: What time is kick-off and what TV channel is it on?
England have the perfect opportunity to get their new era under coach Steve Borthwick off to an uplifting start when they host Scotland on Saturday, the first match of a Six Nations draw that has fallen perfectly to begin the revival.
England follow up with a home game against Italy next week and then a trip to Wales. Should they get three wins under their belt they will host holders France with a level of confidence palpably missing from the last two wretched campaigns, before signing off away in Ireland.
An improvement on third and fifth-placed finishes in the last two seasons already looks likely and with the players at Borthwick's disposal and a new, positive atmosphere in the camp, talk of the title no longer looks fanciful.
After decades of dominating the oldest fixture in international rugby, England have stumbled badly against the Scots in recent years, losing three and drawing one of the last five meetings.
However, there is already a palpable feel of confidence as Borthwick, and his inspirational defence coach Kevin Sinfield, set about "restoring the pride in the shirt and the connection with the fans".
When and where is England vs Scotland?
This first-round tie will take place on Saturday, February 4, with the match kicking off at Twickenham at 4.45pm.
The other matches this weekend are Wales vs Ireland at 2.15pm on Saturday and Italy vs France at 3pm on Sunday.
What TV channel is England vs Scotland on?
England vs Scotland will be broadcast on ITV.
What happened in this fixture in 2022?
Scotland won their second Calcutta Cup match on the trot, for the first time since 1984, after beating England 20-17 in a close-run affair that came down to a penalty try conceded when Luke Cowan-Dickie was shown a yellow card for deliberately kicking into touch.
Read Telegraph Sport's full coverage of the match here.
What is the latest team news?
Manu Tuilagi has been dropped by Steve Borthwick as the head coach named a revamped side for England's Six Nations opener against Scotland.
Tuilagi, a veteran of 50 caps and a regular choice for the Red Rose for much of the past decade, has not even been named in Borthwick's first 23-man squad.
Joe Marchant takes the 31-year-old's place in the England line-up, with Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell to resume their playmaking axis for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.
Wing Ollie Hassell-Collins has been handed his first cap in a rejigged midfield following injuries to Elliot Daly, Henry Slade and Dan Kelly in the build-up to Saturday's fixture.
Ben Curry will be awarded his first cap against major opposition following his debut in an underwhelming victory over the United States nearly two years ago.
Lewis Ludlam joins Curry as the other flanker, with Alex Dombrandt at No 8, while Jamie George starts at hooker after overcoming concussion sustained in Saracens' defeat by Edinburgh on January 22.
England XV: Steward; Malins, Marchant, Farrell (capt), Hassell-Collins; Smith, Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Chessum, Ludlam, B Curry, Dombrandt.
Replacements: Walker, M Vunipola, Cole, Isiekwe, Earl, Youngs, Lawrence, Watson.
Scotland have decided against throwing Zander Fagerson straight back into action.
Forwards coach John Dalziel said on Tuesday the Glasgow prop was in contention for the Calcutta Cup showdown despite being sidelined since the start of December with a hamstring injury.
However, management have opted to give the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad member more time to get up to speed as he has not been included in the side for this weekend's match at Twickenham.
WP Nel, the 36-year-old Edinburgh prop, takes over from Fagerson in the No 3 jersey.
Other notable selections include London Irish scrum-half Ben White getting the nod over regular No 9 Ali Price, who is not even on the bench.
Chris Harris – who starts on the bench – is another surprise omission from the XV, with Huw Jones taking over from the Gloucester centre.
Kyle Steyn has beaten off competition from Blair Kinghorn and Sean Maitland to take the place of the injured Darcy Graham on the wing.
Edinburgh flanker Luke Crosbie is the least experienced player in the 23 with two caps. He starts at No 7.
Key duo Stuart Hogg and Duhan van der Merwe are both in the XV despite recent fitness concerns.
There is no surprise that Finn Russell is selected at stand-off after forcing his way back to the head of the queue for the No 10 shirt with a couple of impressive displays against New Zealand and Argentina in November following his omission from the initial squad for the Autumn Tests.
Scotland XV: Hogg; Steyn, Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, White; Schoeman, Turner, Nel; R Gray, Gilchrist; Ritchie (capt), Crosbie, M Fagerson.
Replacements: Brown, Bhatti, Berghan, J Gray, Dempsey, Horne, Kinghorn, Harris.
Who is the referee for England vs Scotland?
New Zealander Paul Williams has been picked for this fixture. He has not taken charge of a championship match since France's loss to Scotland at Murrayfield in 2020. In that infamous fixture, Williams sent off French tighthead Mohamed Haouas for a punch on Scottish flanker Jamie Ritchie, a move that effectively ended Les Bleus' hopes of winning the title and the Grand Slam.
Despite the three-year break, Steve Borthwick's side know Williams. The 37-year-old refereed England's series decider over Australia in July, a 21-17 victory against the Wallabies under former head coach Eddie Jones.
What is Williams' history?
Having taken up refereeing in 2011, Williams officiated his first Test match in 2017 – Italy versus Scotland in Singapore – and was selected among the panel of officials for the 2019 World Cup in Japan, where he took charge of England's group-stage opener against Tonga.
One of Williams' most controversial moments came in the 2022 Rugby Championship, where he showed a yellow card to South Africa scrum-half Faf de Klerk for a seemingly faint hand to the face of opposite number Nic White during a Wallabies' victory in Adelaide.
How will he officiate the match?
We know that Kiwi officials are lenient at the breakdown, which will be music to the ears of Jack Willis, Ben Earl, Jamie Ritchie et al. In preparation for the northern hemisphere switch, however, Williams was tasked with overseeing Connacht's United Rugby Championship match against Emirates Lions last weekend.
Assistant Referee 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 2: James Doleman (NZR)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (NZR)
What are they saying?
Gregor Townsend has challenged his Scotland side to "inspire the nation".
Scotland triumphed the last time that the two sides met at Twickenham, in 2021, but the win – their first at the home of English rugby since 1983 – took place behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Townsend admitted that a win on Saturday in front of a full house would be a huge positive for Scotland.
"It would be massive," Townsend said. "2021 meant so much, too; we were sent videos from people at home who had been confined to their houses during lockdown. That gave us a massive lift. But we're here to win and we're here to inspire our nation and make them proud. For that, there's no better fixture.
"The atmosphere at Twickenham is always of anticipation and excitement. It's their first Six Nations game, it will be loud. The first few minutes, the crowd will be supporting their team.
"It's a challenge to focus the mind. We've had England first up the past two seasons. It means more than just a one-off fixture. But it'll be hugely challenging away from home against England. We have to be at our best for 80 minutes and that does focus the players' minds."
England vs Scotland latest odds
Odds correct as of February 3
What is our prediction?
England 23 Scotland 19
It may be far more gritty than pretty, but expect Steve Borthwick to get off the mark by edging out Scotland. He will inspire set-piece improvements immediately, and that can go a long way.