Rugby Union

Whiteboard reveals a number of key changes for England's key clash against Scotland

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Football News

With confidence already at a sky-high level, courtesy of a 17-Test winning streak, England are only looking to get stronger as they prepare for their Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Ahead of the fierce encounter, an image from England's training camp at Bagshot has been released showing a predicted starting XV written on a whiteboard.

The whiteboard features lineups for two training matches which were a 13 vs 15 match and the other being a 10 vs 12 clash.

On each occasion, the stronger line-up showed four changes to the side that played Italy with Billy Vunipola, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Youngs, and Jack Nowell making a return to the lineup.

Another strong indication was that the stronger team was wearing white bibs which has previously been a sure sign of England's starting lineup.

No. 8 Vunipola has been out of action since November last year due to a knee injury, but all indications from the England camp have been that his return is imminent.

The Guardian reported England scrum coach Neil Hatley as saying: "Billy has done enough to prove that he should be in the squad and it's fantastic to have him back."

The 24-year-old passed an important test on Sunday by playing 72 minutes for Saracens against Newcastle.

However, the news wasn't so positive for flanker Jack Clifford and fly-half Henry Slade, who were not named in coach Eddie Jones' 24-man preliminary squad.

Jones is renowned for playing mind games with his opponents and the media prior to matches, so the whiteboard image could be nothing more than one of his well renowned "tricks".

He officially names his team on Thursday.

The clash against Scotland will see England attempt to secure their 18th straight win, which will equal a record set by the All Blacks between August 2015 and October 2016.

However, Scotland will be no pushovers in this clash having won two of their three games so far in the Six Nations tournament, which has included defeating Wales for the first time in 10 years and claiming a win against Ireland.

A win against their arch-rivals will see the Scots achieve their first Triple Crown since 1990.

With both teams having a fair bit on the line, it should certainly be an absorbing clash between the old foes.

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