England confident of Spencer's 'fundamentals' against Scotland

Bagshot (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


England assistant coach Steve Borthwick is confident replacement scrum-half Ben Spencer will rise to the challenge if called upon against Scotland after playing alongside the "fundamentally" correct No 9 at Saracens.

Spencer is set to take his place in England's 23 for their Six Nations finale at Twickenham on Saturday after Dan Robson, who has established himself as back-up for Ben Youngs this tournament, was ruled out with illness.

If the 26-year-old features on Saturday it will be his first appearance in the Six Nations, although Spencer did win two England caps off the bench during last year's tour of South Africa.

"I was fortunate enough to play with Ben," England forwards chief Borthwick said Wednesday at the squad's training camp in Bagshot, southwest of London.

"He's a good player. He's fast, fit and has real good fundamentals of the game. He can pass well and kicks well," the former England captain and lock added.

"He's had time with us last year and knows our principles of play. He's played with and against a lot of the players here, so knows them well."

Borthwick, confirming Robson would miss the Calcutta Cup clash, said: "Dan is not available and has left camp. He's got some investigations and consultations going on. We're trying to investigate exactly what's wrong."