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Friends to become foe for Hamilton

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James Hamilton will stand toe to toe with club colleague Louis Deacon when they both make their Six Nations debuts this weekend. Lock Hamilton has been confirmed as a starter for Scotland in Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham, with Deacon lining up in the second row of an England side which also includes clubmates Martin Corry, George Chuter and Harry Ellis, with Lewis Moody and Julian White among the replacements.

"It will be an experience playing at Twickenham against some of my Leicester colleagues," said Hamilton, who is in line to win his third cap after first gaining recognition during the autumn internationals. "I have obviously played alongside them and played against them in training, but this will be completely different. It should be a good tussle with Louis Deacon because he is very good at the front of the line-out.

"It was a bit of a shock when I was told that I would be starting the game but I am really excited about it. It is my first start for Scotland and my first game in the Six Nations. I've played at Twickenham before, but not in a match like this. I've played a couple of Sevens events there and last year I got off the bench in the Guinness Premiership Final."

Hamilton says preparations have been going well within the Scotland camp as they prepare to make the journey south.

"Everybody is looking forward to it and confidence is high," he said. "I suppose the excitement will continue to grow later in the week. It's going to be a massive occasion and I hope it's a really good day."