England happy as underdogs for Scotland Six Nations clash - George

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Jamie George has said England are happy being the underdogs heading into Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland at Murrayfield, adding that he expects the Six Nations match to have "a bit of bite to it."

England head to Edinburgh with two wins from two in the Six Nations, while Scotland are looking to bounce back from their Round 2 defeat to France. Scotland have held the bragging rights in this fixture in recent times, winning the last three encounters.

- England captain George playing for mum's memory vs. Scotland

England are aware of their poor form against the auld enemy and are eager to put that right on Saturday at Murrayfield.

"We've spoken about records, at Twickenham, in the Calcutta Cup, haven't been good enough in the last couple of years," England captain George said. "There's been a lot of talk in the Scottish media about the fact we have no chance and we might as well not turn up. That's absolutely fine in my eyes because we'll go about our business quietly and we've been really happy with where we've been at over the last couple of weeks.

"We've made huge strides in the fallow week and we've built really nicely. Everyone can use different motivation, whether it's what's going on with me at home, people reading stuff in the media, this game is going to have an edge, this game is going to have a bite to it and we're very prepared for that."

Steve Borthwick, England head coach, has also pointed to his team's status as underdogs for Saturday's match.

"We're concentrating on Scotland who are clearly favourites going into this fixture again with the record they've had," Borthwick said. "We are enjoying being in this championship, playing in these great games and we're looking forward to this one against a really good Scotland team. I mean that genuinely -- what a game to be involved in."

England have made five changes for Saturday's match with Ellis Genge and Dan Cole starting in the front-row, Danny Care getting the nod at scrum-half with Alex Mitchell injured, Ollie Lawrence named at inside centre and George Furbank replacing Freddie Steward at fullback. Out of those switches, the one at fullback was perhaps the most surprising given Steward has been one of England's most consistent performers across their opening wins against Italy and Wales.

"A lot is made of selection, dropping people, but Freddie has been absolutely incredible for us for the last couple of weeks, he's been there as one of our best players but you look at tactically how Scotland play, you look at the form that George is coming into this Six Nations with on the back of captaining Northampton to a record number of wins in a row, that leadership element is huge for us," George said.

"But ultimately it's about [Furbank's] performances and he deserves this opportunity and we're certainly not going to die wondering, we're going to go out there and give absolutely everything and that should always be the case when you pull on the England jersey."

If England are to win on Saturday, then they'll have to find a way to nullify the threat posed by Scotland fly-half Finn Russell. He's regarded as one of the finest No. 10s in world rugby with his skills fundamental to Scotland's attacking game. England will look to keep a lid on his box of tricks through their new-look blitz defence, which has been implemented by coach Felix Jones who joined the RFU after winning back-to-back World Cup titles with the Springboks.

"I've worked with Finn, I know him well, I've got a huge amount of respect for him, he's a great player, he's world class," George said. "What our defence tries to do is take away people's time and space, if you want to do that to anyone in world rugby it's probably his.

"We as forwards have got a huge role in terms of our set-piece, putting their team on the back foot and I think it's very difficult for anyone, despite Finn being a maverick and genius and all the rest of it, if he's going backwards and we're taking away time and space it's going to be difficult for anyone to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

"He's one of their best players but they've got a lot of good players across the board and we know it's going to be a big challenge for us but we've very clear on our game plan and how we want to get after him and a few of their other big players and we'll look to make sure we put that out on the field on Saturday."

George will lead England out on Saturday just 10 days after his mother, Jane, died of cancer. He spoke on Thursday about how rugby has helped with the grieving process, and how his teammates have rallied around him.

"It has been a pretty hard time for him and his family," Furbank said.

"To go through that and then to come back into camp and lead the boys with no real difference is incredibly impressive. It has given the boys extra motivation for the boys to galvanise around him. You want to do it for him and his family, who are going through a tough time at the moment."