Saints star Furbank 'incredibly excited' as he starts for England against Scotland

George Furbank is 'incredibly excited' after being named in the England team to face Scotland in the Guinness Six Nations on Saturday (kick-off 4.45pm).
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The Saints star replaces Freddie Steward, who started the opening two matches of the tournament at full-back.

Furbank has been in fantastic form for his club this season, skippering them to victory on several occasions.

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He has helped Saints to hit the summit in the Gallagher Premiership and Investec Champions Cup Pool 3.

George Furbank (photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)George Furbank (photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
George Furbank (photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

And now he deservedly gets his chance with England.

"I was incredibly excited (to get the news)," Furbank said.

"Steve (Borthwick) told me on Monday morning and obviously I had to keep it reasonably secret. I told my family but that was about it. But my grandparents were off limits because they've got big mouths and they get way too excited about stuff like that."

Furbank has a blemish-free record as Saints skipper, winning all 12 of the matches he has taken charge of.

And he has been a huge figure in the club's current 10-match winning streak in all competitions.

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"I wanted to start the season on the front foot," Furbank said.

"We had some really good, honest chats at the start of the season as a team with the S&C coaches and playing staff as well.

"We hit the ground running at the start of the season so we're in pretty good place as a team and it's one of those things where you step on the field and you feel like you're not going to lose.

"It's a pretty good place to be and I'm really enjoying my rugby at the moment."

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So what have the England coaches asked from Furbank at Murrayfield this weekend?

"It's nothing too different really," he said.

"Obviously we have a game plan going into this weekend but away from that it's about doing what I've done well at Saints over the past seven or eight weeks.

"I want to bring my point of difference to the team, which I'm excited to do."

Furbank made his England debut in a Six Nations game against France in 2020 and then played again as the Red Rose beat Scotland at Murrayfield on the following weekend.

So he certainly has good memories of the stadium.

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"It's an incredible place to play," said Furbank, who has won six England caps.

"It's obviously a pretty hostile environment but it's an incredible atmosphere, the national anthems are pretty cool to do and winning up here is pretty special. I'm lucky enough to have done that in 2020 - and it's something we want to do as a team this year."

Tommy Freeman will join Furbank in the starting 15 this weekend, with Fin Smith on the bench.

But there is no place in the 23 for Alex Coles and Fraser Dingwall, who drop out after playing in the opening two matches.

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Saints prop Elliot Millar Mills will be on the Scotland bench, but centre Rory Hutchinson will not be in the 23.

England team to face Scotland: 15. George Furbank (Saints, 6 caps); 14. Tommy Freeman (Saints, 5 caps), 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 59 caps), 12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 21 caps), 11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 66 caps); 10. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 93 caps) – vice captain, 9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 98 caps); 1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 59 caps) – vice captain, 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 87 caps) – captain, 3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 109 caps); 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 78 caps) – vice captain, 5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps); 6. Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps), 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 32 caps), 8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 27 caps).

Replacements: 16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 9 caps), 17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 90 caps), 18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 35 caps), 19. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps), 20. Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 2 caps), 21. Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby, 4 caps), 22, Fin Smith (Saints, 1 cap), 23, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap).