Player Ratings: England 23 - 29 Scotland

©INPHO/Craig Watson

Following England's loss to Scotland on the opening weekend of the Guinness Six Nations, Imogen Ainsworth has rated the players from both teams.


15. Freddie Steward - 7

Steward was a safe pair of hands as always at the back and was called into action multiple times. Was denied a lot of chances by Scotland's resilient defence. Made 14 strong carries and 101 metres. Put in a big hit on Sione Tuipulotu in the first half. 

14. Max Malins - 8

Two tries for Malins and a solid performance elsewhere, being involved in large parts of the game. In particular, his efforts to chip the ball forwards twice in a row, the second past Stuart Hogg creating a real chance for England. Showed the skill and pace that we've seen often from him in the Premiership. Certainly justified his selection. 

13. Joe Marchant - 5

Didn’t have a huge impact in attack, wasn't really released enough to get going. Did have moments of positive play. Did miss a tackle on Van de Merwe, however so did a few of his teammates. Still needs time to cement the partnership with Farrell. Looked dangerous in the lead-up to Malins' second try, crashing through the middle. 

12. Owen Farrell - 5

It wasn’t Farrell’s day for conversions, missing two out of three from the tee. He put in some big hits on Finn Russell in particular, some slightly late. Did however captain the side well and allowed Marcus Smith to control the fly-half position.  

11. Ollie Hassell-Collins - 5
Eager to be involved in his England debut, and provided the crowd with some moments to roar at. Looked slightly nervous and out of his depth at times but showed moments of promise. 

10. Marcus Smith - 6.5

Smith spotted the space well and provided Max Malins with a pinpoint cross-field kick for this first try. A few of moments of magic but still working out the combination with Farrell at 12. Read the game skillfully in attack. 

9. Jack van Poortvliet - 6

A fairly consistent performance, although he was one of the defenders who were unable to stop Duhan van de Merwe for his second try and also knocked the ball on early doors. He read the game well in other areas, controlling well at the breakdown. Making a total of 87 passes were mad and three offloads. Box kicking wasn’t his strongest asset on the day, but delivery elsewhere was often smooth, if occasionally a little slow at points. 

1. Ellis Genge - 7

Lead a stronger scrum for England than we’ve seen in recent months. Hard work from the forward pack saw him score in the first half. Joint first on day one for carries with teammate Lewis Ludlam and Scotland’s Finn Russell all making 18 carries. 

2. Jamie George - 5

The line out was an area to be improved upon for next week, and George will benefit from more time in training. Was an injury doubt in the week leading up to the game due to a concussion but played the full 80 minutes.

3. Kyle Sinckler - 5.5 

Some errors in discipline and was spoken to by the referee. Warmed into the game as it progressed, putting in a decent shift.

4. Maro Itoje - 5

Didn’t seem to be fully firing, however, did manage to win a turnover and was influential in the lineout. Hopefully, we’ll see him back to old ways as the tournament progresses. 

5. Ollie Chessum - 7.5

A key figure for England in the lineout and driving mauls, winning nine lineouts in the game. A key figure in the set piece, an area that Borthwick had been unimpressed with when watching England in the past. After missing out on the internationals in the autumn through injury, this was Chessum’s first England game at Twickenham. He didn’t look out of place on the international stage. 

6. Lewis Ludlam - 7

A solid performance from the Northampton Saints captain. Strong in the line out winning four and he made 18 carries in the game. A fantastic work rate throughout the game, crossing the gain line in most of his chances. His well-timed offload set up Malins’ second try, 

7. Ben Curry - 5

Not the most exciting of first England starts. Missed a tackle on Ben White which allowed him to score, missing a total of four tackles in the game, three in the first half. He did however make some strong tackles at times and a strong carry for Genge’s try. 

8. Alex Dombrandt - 5

Showed moments of promise but a few fumbled catches let him down. Conceded three turnovers, drove the scrum well from the back and provided strong carries. Ran some positive lines however didn’t always have the maximum impact. As the last man should have put in a tackle on Van der Merwe for his first try.


(56') Ben Earl - 7
(59') Ben Youngs - 5
(61') Mako Vunipola - 6
(61') Dan Cole - 6.5
(61') Nick Isiekwe - 5
(65') Anthony Watson - 5


15. Hogg - 5

Not the most memorable performance, but a sound display on his first game back in a while. Dealt well with kicks from Farrell, Smith, and Steward.

14. Steyn - 6

Filled in well for the injured Darcy Graham, providing a barrier in defence. Was unable to gather a couple of chances, namely a cross-field kick from Russell which he knocked forward. On the whole had a positive performance. 

13. Huw Jones - 7

Stamped his intent on his selection ahead of Chris Harris, linking up well with Glasgow teammate Sione Tuipulotu, providing the much-loved Huwipulotu combination. He’s now scored five tries in the past five games against the English.

12. Sione Tuipulotu - 7.5

A great combination with Huw Jones, proving him with the chip through which was perfectly placed for his try. Put in some big hits in defence, including bundling Marcus Smith into touch in the second half. However, didn’t manage to stop England’s Genge on his way to the try line.

11. Duhan van der Merwe - 9

Two magnificent tries, the first being an individual moment of magic and the second a pure display of power. Left every defender in his way in the dust, outmuscling them on his way to the try line. Made 104 metres - hardly surprising given his first try was from 55 metres out. 

10. Finn Russell - 7

Played well with his outside men and dealt with the kicking game well. Some great passes to set up two of the tries, in particular the second. Good from the tee.

9. Ben White - 7.5

His first Six Nations start, yet he was composed and managed the game well. He allowed Scotland to make the most of their chances and bagged himself a well-worked try.

1. Pierre Schoeman - 6

Great work with ball in hand and in the scrum. Good territory made. 

2. George Turner - 6

A few attempts at throws over the top of the line out, the most successful the top to captain Jamie Ritchie, and was consistent in throws. Solid in defence 

3. WP Nel - 6

Showed the experience of his age, often overpowering England’s Genge in the front row. 

4. Richie Gray - 7

Scotland’s backbone in the line out. His pass found Van de Merwe for his second try.

5. Grant Gilchrist - 6.5

Stole a lineout from England, and did well in defence, putting in some robust tackles. 

6. Jamie Ritchie - 6.5 

Won the penalty that secured the game for Scotland, and provided strength in defence. Lead well as captain. 

7. Luke Crosbie - 7

A newer addition to the Scotland squad who made his third appearance. Another consistent tackler, making 20 tackles and missing none. 

8. Matt Fagerson - 8

Made an impressive 26 tackles and missed none. A serious threat with ball in hand.


(59') Fraser Brown - 6 
(59') Simon Berghan - 6
(59') Jack Dempsey - 5
(66') Jonny Gray - 6.5
(66') Jamie Bhiatti  - 6
(66') Blair Kinghorn - 7