Nathan Hughes set for England Six Nations start against Scotland

England forwards coach Steve Borthwick says Nathan Hughes is in contention to face Scotland

England have been given a clean bill of health for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Scotland with Nathan Hughes on course to start at No 8.

Any lingering doubt over Owen Farrell and Joe Launchbury has lifted, the former overcoming an unspecified lower leg injury and the latter available after missing last Friday’s open training session at Twickenham for load management reasons.

Hughes has been proving his fitness during gruelling sessions at England’s Surrey training base after recovering from the knee ligament damaged sustained on Wasps duty in mid-December.

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The No 8 has made one club appearance since returning several weeks ahead of schedule but is set to start at Murrayfield after Sam Simmonds was ruled out by a shoulder problem.

“Everyone’s fully fit for selection this weekend,” said England forwards coach Steve Borthwick.

“Nathan’s worked really hard, really diligently and he looks in really good shape. He’s healed very fast which is great.

“While our strength and conditioning and medical team have worked incredibly hard, the credit has to go to Nathan for the work he’s done while he’s been injured.

“We want to make sure all of our players are ready for Test matches, that’s why we train at the intensity level we train at.

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“Nathan gives us different strengths to Sam. He’s an outstanding ball carrier. His effect on the group has grown.

“He’s excellent with younger players, helping them mentally. He’s grown as a player in terms of the influence he has throughout as a leader as well.”

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