“We have until tomorrow before kick-off to make a decision, which means he has at least another 24 hours of recovery ahead of him.”
England have opted against calling in another player. The most probable contingency if Farrell is forced to withdraw would see Ben Te’o promoted from the bench to fill the void and Jonny May, who is currently acting as 24th man, stepping on to the interchange bench.
England will give Farrell, who has emerged as their most important player under Jones, every opportunity to demonstrate his fitness for a match that could deliver a record-equalling 18th successive Test victory.
Only New Zealand have previously amassed that number of wins, setting the milestone last year.
England are the Six Nations’ solitary unbeaten team, keeping them on course for a successful defence of the Grand Slam, yet they have not played to their potential so far in the tournament.
“We’ve done a lot of good stuff. In the last two weeks, not to sound too much like a broken record, but we’ve focused on ourselves a lot,” Gustard said. “We’re looking to improve.
“The boys are a in a good place, they’re happy and excited to play for their country. Everyone is looking forward to playing Scotland.
“Scotland have got some good players, but then every team does.”
November is nearly upon us. Growing up on the outskirts of London this is when the mud starts turning to frozen ground, the sky is nearly dark by the time you walk home from school. Drizzle and dreariness close in. The Stark words echo in your mind: Winter is coming.