CCTV9英语新闻:England rugby team prepares for Scotland

The annual six nations championship kicks off this weekend. England is the defending champions, but plenty of questions have been raised about the squad especially after a shocking exit at last year’s rugby World Cup. And England has not been given an easy opening match as they start the tournament on the road in Scotland, where they have struggled in recent years.

Changes are a plenty for the defending six nations champions. Caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster has overturned the roster that crashed out of the rugby World Cup. Only six starters remain from the squad that lost to France in the quarterfinals.

The team has been practicing together for a little more than a week, but Lancaster is confident with the team’s preparation.

Stuart Lancaster, England Rugby coach, said, "We’ve got an inner confidence, a quiet confidence that has been born out of a really, really good week in Leeds which was a lot to do with about building a culture and getting England back on track, so to speak. You know that desire to play for each other; the desire to play for your parents and friends and your family; and also the desire to play for the shirt, you know, play for England. And that’s been led on with, as I said, a lot more technical and tactical stuff this week and so we’ll see what Saturday brings, but we’ll certainly give it our best shot".

The tournament represents a new start for the club and can help in putting their dissapointing run at the World Cup behind them

Ben Foden, England fullback, said, "I’ve been hungry to get on the white shirt and run out for England just to sort of start to repair some of the damage that was caused at the World Cup. And obviously we need to move on from that but for me that memory, the last memory I have in a white shirt is not a pleasant one, so hopefully, you know, I can eradicate that with a big performance this weekend. And the guys who are coming in, you know getting their first caps and getting their first taste for it, you know they’ve got a lot to prove as well and you know Stuart Lancaster has shown a lot of belief in these guys, picked them on form because they’ve been playing well week-in, week-out for their club and giving them this massive opportunity. And these guys need to step up to the mark and take it and hopefully we’ll see that this weekend."

England will have their hands full in their opening match against a Scottish side that always gives them problems.

Stuart Lancaster, England Rugby coach, said, "It’s a great stadium to play in; it’s going to be a fantastic occasion. You know the Scots -- having been there myself -- I mean, a very, very proud nation and you know we’ve not won their since 2004, so we recognize that it’s going to be a huge, huge challenge. They’ve got a lot of consistency in their team and consistent with their coaches, so we won’t be underestimating them, I can assure you. But, you know, we’re looking forward to the challenge."

Stuart Lancaster, England Rugby coach, said, "You know Stuart’s been very expressive in the way he wants us to play and take the field; that sort of ’no fear attitude’ and play this wide, expansive game that people want to see and we’ve been working on it hard throughout the week. Obviously we’ve been looking at Scotland and how they’re going to defend against us and attack and hopefully we’ve picked out a few weaknesses and we can exploit those at the weekend."

The English beat the Scots in their decisive World Cup Pool game in New Zealand last year. However, England have lost two and drawn one of their past three games at Murrayfield.