Owen Farrell backs Ollie Lawrence to shine in ‘competitive’ Six Nations opener for England

The 2021 tournament gets underway this weekend

Duncan Bech
Friday 05 February 2021 09:38
<p>Lawrence starts at Twickenham on Saturday</p>

Lawrence starts at Twickenham on Saturday

Owen Farrell is excited by the prospect of a ringside seat when two inside centres of rich promise and contrasting styles collide in England's Six Nations clash with Scotland.

Ollie Lawrence will make his first championship appearance at Twickenham on Saturday after being entrusted with the task of using his power to propel Eddie Jones' men over the midfield gainline.

Opposite him will be Cameron Redpath, the creative 21-year-old son of former Scotland captain Bryan whose national allegiance is now decided nearly three years after he withdrew from England's tour to South Africa with a knee injury.

READ MORE: Six Nations 2021 fixtures, kick-off times and full schedule

Lawrence and Redpath played in the same England Under-20 side together, but Farrell insists their friendship will be forgotten for 80 minutes on Saturday.

"They're two good young players," said Farrell, who has been picked at fly-half in place of George Ford.

"I've met Cameron but I've not been around him too much. From what I've seen of him he's a brilliant player. He'll be a big threat for them and hopefully Ollie will be for us.

"As friends you get competitive. If one gets a chance to get one up on his mate, they'll let him know about it afterwards. I'm sure they'll be competitive."

Lawrence won his three caps last autumn, showing promise as a carrier in the absence of Manu Tuilagi, who will miss the entire Six Nations because of an Achilles injury.

The 21-year-old Worcester back is described as a "project player" by head coach Eddie Jones, but Farrell believes he already has the ability to leave an impression on Scotland's defence.

"Ollie is destructive. He hits hard, he runs hard and causes defences problems. He has got good feet as well. He is sharp," Farrell said.

"We want him to do what he's good at. We want him to get into the game in the way he has done for his club and he has shown in the Premiership and shown us in training.

"It's a fairly simple case of him doing what he does well and that's how we will see the best of him."

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