Marler eyeing strong start

Joe Marler has called on England to make a good start against Scotland in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Stuart Lancaster's side made a poor start in their tournament opener against France last weekend, going 16-3 behind, before battling back to take a 21-16 lead.

But Gael Fickou's late try saw England suffer a narrow - a second loss in succession after going down against world champions New Zealand in November's international.

The loss to the All Blacks also came after Lancaster's side trailed 17-3 early in the game, before fighting back to lead 22-20 after an hour before succumbing to a ferocious finish.

Marler believes England must learn from these defeats, telling Sky Sports: "We showed a lot of character coming back from that poor start we had (against France), and there's a lot of character in this team to come back next week and put things right against Scotland.

"We know it won't be easy, conditions probably won't be good - there's a lot of chat about the pitch from the media saying it's not very good, stuff like that.

"But, you know, (the conditions are) both the same for both teams and they've got some quality players in their team so it'll be a tough day.

"But we've had a couple of disappointments now - we didn't start well against New Zealand, we didn't start well against France - and it's about time to start well and show that character we have."


None of Marler's 16 caps have been won at Murrayfield, but the Harlequins loosehead prop journeyed to Edinburgh as a travelling reserve two years ago.

England won 13-6 in Stuart Lancaster's first game as head coach and the experience has prepared Marler what to expect on Saturday.

"I love going into places like that. No one likes England, particularly the Scots. It will be another environment to relish and look forward to," he said.

England will on Thursday morning complete the formality of naming their starting XV and replacements for the must-win Calcutta Cup showdown.

Lancaster announced on Tuesday night that the same matchday squad selected against France has been retained for Edinburgh.

The only injury concerns that arose from the Stade de France were wing Jonny May's fractured nose and the cheekbone damage sustained by lock Courtney Lawes.

Lawes was cleared on Sunday when it was revealed he had suffered only bruising and May was cleared to play at Murrayfield on Monday evening.