England scrum-half Danny Care ready for 'physical' Scotland in RBS Six Nations opener
Scrum-half Danny Care insists England will have to "front up" to Scotland's physicality at Twickenham.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 25/01/13 5:29pm
England will entertain the 'auld enemy' on February 2 at Twickenham in a tantilising encounter, with both sides having experienced contrasting fortunes of late.
While England head into the match on the back of an historic victory over New Zealand in the autumn, Scotland arrive on the back of a torrid spell which ultimately cost Andy Robinson his job.
Having finished bottom of the Six Nations table last season, Scotland went unbeaten in the summer - including a rare win over Australia. However they then suffered a clean sweep of losses in November, including a defeat to Tonga in Aberdeen.
That saw Robinson step down as head coach, with Scott Johnson handed the reins on an interim basis and former England No 8 Dean Ryan - the Sky Sports pundit - appointed as forwards coach.
And although what impact the changes will have on the Scots will not be clear until that first match, Care knows it will not be a game for the faint-hearted.
"I think we have to view at Scotland as a new team," said Care.
"They've got a couple of new coaches in there. We don't know what they will throw at us but we know that it is going to be a very passionate game and a massive battle.
"They will come with a lot of physicality with some big forwards and we are going to have to front up to it."
England will go into the game as big favourites following the 38-21 win over the world champion All Blacks in December - and while the expectations will be high among the home support, Care insists the squad remain realistic about the challenge ahead - particularly given the intense rivalry.
"Against New Zealand we played very well and caught them on an off-day I think, but we deserved that win," he said.
"Playing against Scotland in the Six Nations is going to be completely different. It is a fresh start and a fresh Six Nations and they will be coming wanting to win, just as we want to win.
"They don't really like us very much, which we enjoy. We relish that challenge and look forward to getting out there on Saturday."
The rivalry is not limited to the two teams, though, with some intriguing battles within the England squad for places.
There are interesting debates over which players should start at hooker, No 8, fly-half and full-back - while Care is facing competition from Ben Youngs and Lee Dickson for the No 9 jersey.
And the Harlquins scrum-half believes that this can only be good for the team.
"There is competition for positions all over the pitch," said Care. "I don't think anyone is nailed on for a start and I think that is great for English rugby.
"It is always a good battle at nine - I look forward to it. There is no indication of who is going to play yet so I will have to train hard and see what happens. It has been interesting this week as no one really knows what the team is going to be and that is good as it keeps everyone on their toes and competing hard.
"I am happy with the way I have played. It is all I could have done, to play well and put my hand up so it is now Stuart's call. Youngsy and Dicko are two quality players as well so it is good."