Six Nations

Scotland not favourites for Calcutta Cup - Cotter

Vern Cotter has dismissed England head coach Eddie Jones' claim that Scotland are favourites to win the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield next weekend.

The bookmakers have Scotland as the underdogs to win their Six Nations opener against their fierce rivals a week on Saturday.

But Jones said the pressure will be on the home side after they came agonisingly close to reaching the Rugby World Cup semi-finalists just a few months ago, while England failed to make it out of their pool.

Scotland have not beaten England for eight years and Cotter said Jones was engaging in mind games at the Six Nations launch.

"I don't know how Eddie works that out. It's just a psychological lever that he's trying to use, to take the pressure off himself," said the Scotland coach.

"I gather that England are still ranked ahead of us by World Rugby.

"I didn't think England would need that, I thought they would be comfortable with the favourites' tag."

Jones questioned whether Scotland will be able to handle increased expectations following a World Cup campaign in which they missed out on a last-four spot as a result of a controversial late penalty for Australia.

"Remember that photo that was sent around during the World Cup? It was of an English gentleman trying to get out of the pool and he couldn't do it," the Australian, who will be taking charge of England for the first time at Murrayfield, said.

"Well Scotland made it out of the pool and nearly got to the semi-final. The difference in performance at the World Cup was enormous.

"Both teams will have had two weeks to prepare so the advantage that Scotland has is massive, but they have to carry that pressure of favouritism which is something they probably aren't used to."