Six Nations 2017: Scotland must improve to beat England - Jonny Gray

Scotland lock Jonny Gray contests the ball against Wales
Jonny Gray enjoyed only the fourth Six Nations win of his career on Saturday against Wales

Scotland must improve if they want to end a 34-year losing run at Twickenham and win a first Six Nations Triple Crown since 1990, says lock Jonny Gray.

The Scots beat Wales for the first time in a decade on Saturday, but none of the current side were born the last time they beat England in west London.

England have also won their past 13 home Championship matches since 2012.

"It's going to be a massive, massive challenge to go down to England and win," said 22-year-old Gray.

Scotland travel to England on Saturday, 11 March [kick-off 16:00 GMT] and Gray said that every game in the Six Nations is getting "closer and closer".

"It took a late try to separate Wales and England a couple of weeks ago. Our game in France was decided by just six points," he added.

"It just shows the small margins that are at stake, so we need to get better. We can't stand still."

It is the first time since 2006 that Scotland have won two of their first three Championship matches. On 4 February they beat Ireland 27-22 and victory over Wales on Saturday lifted them up to fifth in the world, their highest position since the rankings began in 2003.

Their latest win was achieved with captain Greig Laidlaw among six front-line players on the sidelines, but Gray praised the impact of stand-in captain John Barclay.

"When Greig was here, he said he wanted the guys around him to step up a bit more, as much as possible. It was the same on Saturday with Barcs," Gray said.

Scotland captain John Barclay wins a line-out against Wales
John Barclay led by example with an inspirational display against Wales

"It was a blow losing Greig. He is an amazing rugby player and an amazing guy. He texted me to see how training has been going. We also spoke on the phone just before his injury was confirmed.

"It was gutting to lose such a big player with his personality and what he brings to the squad, on the pitch and off it.

"But it's not just about one guy, it's about all the other lads around us. Everyone stepped up.

"Barcs has done an incredible job. He was outstanding with the way he led us through the week and the way he spoke. He made the right points."

Gray added that fly-half Finn Russell was among others who emerged as leadership figures.

"Finn in attack was also a big voice," he added. "All in all, it was still a whole squad effort, not just the 23 guys who played on Saturday.

"It was as much down to the guys who ran against us in training, the boys from the Under-20s who came in and ran opposition plays for us.

"It's a special feeling that everyone was able to come together and put in a performance.

"But we have a week off now and we'll look at the improvements we have to make, because there was some sloppy moments which we have to tidy up."

Top Stories