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Deacon keen to make most of opportunity

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Louis Deacon is looking forward to taking his chance to "stake a claim" in the England pack at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The Leicester Tigers second row earns his 17th senior cap as England look to bounce back from defeat against Ireland with the trip to Scotland.

Deacon has been among the England replacements in the opening rounds of the RBS 6 Nations Championship and is aiming to make an impact after being given a starting spot against the Scots.

“It is a good opportunity for me to stake a claim,” said 29-year-old Deacon.

“I’ve had a couple of games off the bench so far and I played most of the game against Ireland when Simon Shaw went off. It was a good run-out for me and I was a bit nervous before going out but I felt pretty fresh and pretty sharp.

“During the week after the Italy game, I went back and played for Leicester and got a bit of game-time and that helped.

“There is competition for places but if there are injuries we can make the change and players can fit in well with the squad. That seems to go across the board.”

Deacon is making a return trip to Murrayfield after playing there with Tigers in the Heineken Cup in the last two seasons, including the final against Leinster last May.

“Murrayfield is a difficult to place to go and play,” he told the RFU.com podcast.

“But we’re looking to bounce back after the disappointment of the Ireland game. It is a big challenge but we're looking forward to it.

“Scotland have been quite unfortunate, they are playing some of the best rugby in the home nations but have come away with three losses. But up front they have some big guys – Jim Hamilton, who used to be at Leicester, is as big as they get in the second row, Euan Murray is a big guy at tighthead - so they have some power there and the back row is looking pretty good.

“We have just got to go and do our jobs. The forwards have to take them on and get on the front foot.”

Deacon is joined in the starting XV by Tigers colleague Dan Cole, while there are places among the replacements for Lewis Moody, Toby Flood and the uncapped scrum-half Ben Youngs.

“I’m really pleased for Ben, he deserves his opportunity,” added Deacon.

“His performances for Tigers are outstanding for such a young guy. He is keeping Harry Ellis out of the team, which says a lot.

“It is disappointing for Lewis, he is very unlucky, he has been one of the form players. But Martin Johnson wants to give other guys an opportunity as well.”