Matt Taylor, the Scotland defence coach, will be pretty satisfied should the heavens open over Murrayfield in the lead up to his side's RBS 6 Nations match with England this evening.

That much became clear at his media briefing at the stadium yesterday, when Taylor suggested that the killer combination of a pitch which carves up badly underfoot and a decent downpour would be far more to Scotland's advantage than their English opponents.

Reminded that the forecast is for heavy rain just as the match is about to begin, Taylor said: "I'll take that. A couple of the famous wins, Scotland v England, have been rainy, muddy, trench warfare. A couple of the guys have spoken about it and said it would be great if it was wet.

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"Whenever it becomes rainy, wet and muddy it becomes a bit of a dog-fight. That suits the mentality of a couple of the Scottish players and the Scottish psyche. We get stuck in and if that is the case [this evening] then that is great."

Scotland slipped down to 10th place in the world rankings after their 28-6 defeat by Ireland last weekend. Yet the teams around them are bunched so tightly at the moment that a victory today could see the Scots make up two places, overtaking Argentina and Samoa. It would also inflict a third successive Six Nations defeat on England for the first time since 2006.

Greig Laidlaw takes the Scotland captaincy after the controversial dropping of Kelly Brown and the scrum-half admitted that, while he felt for the deposed leader, he was confident that Brown would soon be back on the Test scene. "Kelly is a great captain and a great man," said Laidlaw. "I've absolutely no doubt he will be involved with Scotland again."

However, Laidlaw also stressed that he was thrilled to be asked to lead the team. "This game means everything to me," he added. "I don't think the weather is to be too kind and if it is pouring it will be the team who adjusts the conditions better who'll win. Traditionally, we're at our best when our backs are up against the wall. We are just itching to get out there and get stuck in."