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Ford fired up for Calcutta Cup climax

Leicester Tigers and England fly-half George Ford is wary of the threat posed by Scotland’s Finn Russell ahead of the final round of the Guinness Six Nations this afternoon (5.00pm).

Ford is named on the bench for the Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham knowing that a repeat of 2017’s 61-21 victory could clinch England the Championship title, if Wales slip up against Ireland.

But Eddie Jones’ men will need to nullify Scottish pivot Russell – who Ford faced in back-to-back Heineken Champions Cup games against Racing 92 this season – if they are to clinch the crown.

“I think he is a very dangerous player given time and space, his skill set is very good – he can run, pass and kick,” Ford told the England Rugby website.

“One of our ways in defence will be to stop Scotland on the gain-line so that maybe he doesn’t have such an armchair ride.”

And while playing in the final fixture of the day will mean England know exactly what they need to do to win the Championship – or not, if Wales defeat Ireland in Cardiff – the Tigers No10 is trying not to focus on permutations.

He said: “We cannot assume anything. The main focus for us, regardless of other results, is to up our performance from the last four games we have played in. Our focus this week is on ourselves and getting another result at Twickenham.

“We realise this week that most of the ball we are going to get will be unstructured, from kicks, so we have to work on that part of the game and fire some shots from kick-return.

“It’ll be a balance of getting structured and unstructured play right.”