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LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - England secured a second consecutive Six Nations title in emphatic style on Saturday by thrashing a supposedly resurgent Scotland 61-21 with a scintillating display encapsulated by a superb hat-trick by recalled centre Jonathan Joseph.
Joseph was dropped for the Italy game two weeks ago but marked his return with a brilliant display. Danny Care got two tries, Anthony Watson and Billy Vunipola one each and the peerless Owen Farrell kicked 26 points as England chalked up their highest score and joint-biggest win in 146 years of the oldest fixture in international rugby to retain the title with a game to spare.
England now have an unassailable lead on 18 points. Ireland and France, who gained a bonus point victory over Italy earlier, both have 10 points, then come Wales and Scotland on nine, with Italy last without a point.
England, whose previous highest score against the Scots was their 43-3 win in 2001, will now seek to complete back to back grand slams in Dublin next Saturday.
Saturday's victory was also England's 18th in a row, drawing them level with New Zealand, who set the tier one record from 2015-2016. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Rex Gowar)