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Scotland can spring Six Nations shock on England without Russell, says Kinghorn

Blair Kinghorn believes Scotland have the creativity and confidence to defeat England and retain the Calcutta Cup on Saturday, despite the absence of Finn Russell.

Russell has been left out of Scotland’s squad for the Six Nations clash with Eddie Jones’ side at Murrayfield.

The mercurial fly-half was axed for the 19-12 defeat to Ireland last weekend after being disciplined for a “breach of team protocol”.

Pre-tournament favourites England fell to a shock 24-17 loss to France in their opener, so both teams go into the match with a point to prove.

And Kinghorn reckons Scotland, who drew 38-38 at Twickenham last year, can replicate their home victory over England from 2018, even without Racing 92 star Russell.

“Finn is a great player but I have full belief in everyone in the team,” said Edinburgh full-back Kinghorn.

“I fully believe we have all the creativity we need. Adam Hastings played really well against Ireland and it is great to see boys like Huw Jones coming back into some form – he’s a devastating player.

“Even though we didn’t get the result last week, we showed some really positive things away to Ireland. The review after the game was good.

“We’ve not had the results we’ve wanted in the last year, we all know that, so Saturday is a massive game for us. I fully believe we can get a result and that can kickstart a really successful year.

“Everyone in the team is really positive and we have full belief in ourselves that we can put in a winning performance.

“It would mean everything. It’s a massive game at home, we want to retain the Calcutta Cup and get the points for the table.”

Kinghorn conceded there was huge frustration at the missed opportunity in Dublin, where captain Stuart Hogg dropped the ball when he looked certain to score a try in what he admitted was a “schoolboy error”.

“Losing is not fun at all,” added Kinghorn. “We had chances to win but we gave away too many penalties and turnover ball at crucial points.

“It’s something we’ve looked pretty hard at but it’s never nice to lose, especially when we had not won over there for 10 years, so it was a big opportunity. 

“It’s a quick turnaround so we’ve only got time to look at the things we can improve and then move on. Everyone is looking to get stuck in.

“Every time you come back from a loss you come in, look at the footage and try to bounce onto the next game – and there is no better one than England at home.”

Hogg, meanwhile, took to Twitter to thank fans for their backing.

“It was a tough weekend but I’m very grateful for the support from everyone involved in the group,” he wrote. “Can’t wait to get back out there this weekend with the boys and put things right.”

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