The storm clouds are gathering over Murrayfield today and England have been left in no doubt what is coming their way.
Forecasts of 60mph winds, driving rain and perhaps even snow in Edinburgh as Storm Ciara hits the Scottish capital would appear to be the least of the concerns for Eddie Jones's side. This may be only the second round of the Six Nations, but England's title hopes are already on the line following their surprise 24-17 defeat in Paris.
Of equal import is the need for a performance to demonstrate that they have moved on from their World Cup final loss to South Africa. There appeared to be a hangover from that defeat at the Stade de France, but the Six Nations is a harsh place for those who indulge in navel-gazing.
A third successive defeat would also undermine Jones's attempts to press the restart button at the beginning of a new four-year World Cup cycle, even though his contract runs only until 2021.
It was a defeat at Murrayfield two years ago that sent England into such a tailspin that they lost their next five games. If England are to build on the positives of their World Cup campaign, including the manner of their victory over New Zealand, they cannot afford to slip into another losing streak.
"For us the pressure is on, which is something you can ignore and try to play down or something you can embrace," said England flanker Sam Underhill, who revealed he has a Scottish grandmother. "The fact it happens to be a Calcutta Cup is probably even better for us because there's more pressure."
Yet Scotland find themselves in the same must-win position in the wake of their 19-12 loss to Ireland, pushing the stakes higher still.
And after a week filled with hot-air joshing, and talk of hatred between the sides, the presence of Josh Taylor, the Scottish world champion boxer who goes by the alias of the 'Tartan Tornado' in the Scotland camp yesterday only underscored the intensity of the physical challenge that awaits England.
The players have spoken of an extra edge in training. Jones conceded he had got the preparation wrong in the build-up to France by adopting a softly-softly approach, given the extraordinary workload this season. Wednesday's session, in contrast, was said to have been one of the most physical of Jones's five-year tenure.
"It was just a really good blast out and that's exactly what the boys wanted," said Jonny May, the England wing whose two tries at the Stade de France inspired a late but unsuccessful resurgence.
Session "You know what it's like, when you go for a big gym session and you want to go and blast it. You do feel better for it when you get stuck in. You think, 'That was a good session, we're ready go again now'."
To go again England have gone back to basics. Of the five changes Jones has made, three have come in the pack, with Mako Vunipola, George Kruis and Lewis Ludlam tasked with bolstering their ball-carrying and breakdown impact.
Stacking the bench with six forwards is laced with risk, given the potential for injuries to the back line, but England have identified that to stop Scotland you must stop their ability to recycle quick ball.
The ability to introduce six forwards in the second half worked for South Africa in the World Cup. Jones is hoping for a similarly brutal impact as his side seek a first win in the Calcutta Cup since 2017.
Scotland, though, have addressed many of the issues that undermined their World Cup campaign. Even without the genius of Finn Russell at fly-half, as his dispute with head coach Gregor Townsend continues, Adam Hastings has the ability to pose questions of England's back three. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
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