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Scotland 29 England 23

It was less of a new dawn, more of a gloriously sunlit game with rain falling at the end on Steve Borthwick’s parade.

There were some bright new conditions: Ollie Chessum had a fine game at lock which he needs to do as Maro Itoje is not the force he was and Lewis Ludlum was a mobile flanker.

Max Malins also looked effective. There were some dark spots too: Ben Curry looked a pale imitation of his twin brother Tom, Owen Farrell kicked inaccurately off the tee and did not fuse with Marcus Smith.

The Scots played with heart and vigour and Van der Merwe’s weaving run and try will live long in the memory.

It’s curious how England teams have a surfeit of talent in some positions but are weak in others.

In soccer, we have depth in talent at full back but not in central defence; in cricket, we have middle order batting depth but not many openers nor a world class spinner since Graeme Swann.

In rugby, there are many options at fly half and scrum half but the centres are weak.

Borthwick can draw some comfort that Courtney Lawes, George Ford, Henry Slade, Lewis Cowan-Dickie and Sam Underhill will one day return from injury.

Even if, or when, they do the team looks short on enough talent to trouble Ireland or France.

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About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts