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George Ford says England will beat Scotland by the book – not with dirty tricks

George Ford insists England will keep their eyes on the prize – and not stoop to Scotland’s roughhouse tactics.

Eddie Jones’ team are potentially one win from being crowned Six Nations champions going into Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.

And the Aussie head coach is demanding revenge for Scotland’s win last year when, in his words, “they pulled our pants down badly”.

England’s players need no added motivation given what is at stake should table-topping Wales lose to Ireland in Cardiff.

But they have it anyway with the memory of 5’10 fly-half Ford being targeted in the Murrayfield tunnel before kick-off by 6’4 tartan hit-man Ryan Wilson.

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Owen Farrell spots Wilson with Ford inside tunnel and hurries to his team mate’s aid

“It wasn’t really Tunnelgate,” Danny Care, who played for England that day, revealed angrily on BBC 5Live’s Rugby Union Weekly . “It was more push the smallest lad in the team in the back.”

Wilson’s unprovoked act brought a furious reaction from Owen Farrell, running to his mate’s aid, and England never really regained their composure, losing 25-13.

Thirteen months on and the auld enemies meet again with Ford promising England will exact their revenge legitimately and on the field of play, rather than sneakily in the shadows.

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Ryan Wilson celebrates Scotland’s win last year…

…And pictured with Calcutta Cup

The Leicester star said: “We’d rather do it when the game kicks off. And there are a few ways. You can do it tactically, by being smart, and you can do it physically – obviously within the laws.

“There was a little incident before last year’s game. But when you get two passionate nations coming together to play an intense Test match with a fair bit riding on it, you’re probably going to get instances like that. More of that goes on than you think.

“The opposition are going to try and do everything they can to put you off the game and it is a challenge. The amount of times I’ve been at the bottom of a ruck and opponents have tried to put a hand in your face or an elbow in your face… things like that. Just to try and rough you up a bit.

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“When I was younger I’d probably react in the wrong way. Nothing against the laws of the game, but maybe lose your head in terms of concentration for five or 10 minutes.

“That helps nobody so you accept that it’s happening and get on with your next job. You have to be on top of it mentally because the one time you don’t prepare for it is the one time it could get you."

Ford is adamant England have ticked that box this week and that their focus will be on themselves, "so that if anything like that does crop up – before, during, whenever – we can always come back to being controlled and imposing our game plan on the opposition.

Looking sharp: Ford in England training

“But it is a challenge in any game you play,” he added, even a fixture in which Scotland have not won at Twickenham since 1983. "It might be the opposition, it might be the scoreboard, it might be the conditions.

"One of the main disciplines for us, which we practise every day in training, is to recognise what is going on and what we need to do to stay on track.”

A year ago that did not happen. But history suggests a repeat is unlikely.

Eddie Jones is out for revenge this weekend

Jones hassled by drunken ‘fans’ on journey home from Scotland last year

And for Wilson’s sake it is probably as well he is absent this time. Picking on a 13st fly-half is one thing, trying it on with a Tuilagi, a Cokanasiga or a Vunipola quite another.

* Ben Spencer, capped twice off the bench in South Africa last summer but since omitted, has been called into England’s squad to face Scotland as back-up scrum-half due to illness to the luckless Dan Robson.

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