Mercurial fly-half Finn Russell will pull the strings for Scotland when they take on the Springboks in their opening WOrld Cup clash in Marseille on Sunday.
Mercurial fly-half Finn Russell will pull the strings for Scotland when they take on South Africa in Marseille on Sunday after coach Gregor Townsend named the squad for what is a crucial Rugby World Cup clash.
The Scots, ranked fifth in the world, are in Pool B alongside not only the second-ranked Springboks but also Ireland, the world’s number one team, a Tonga side boasting a number of former New Zealand and Australia players, and Romania.
With only two sides progressing to the knock-out phase of the tournament in France, every game will be crucial.
Townsend named Russell, in his third World Cup, alongside Ben White at half-back, with centres Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones continuing their partnership in midfield.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 8, 2023
Prolific wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham are joined in the back three by full-back Blair Kinghorn.
Jamie Ritchie captains the team from blindside flanker and is joined in the backrow by openside Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey at No.8.
Richie Gray and Grant Gilchrist, both of whom will be appearing at a third Rugby World Cup, combine at lock forward, while George Turner gets the nod at hooker, packing down with Pierre Schoeman (loosehead) and Zander Fagerson (tighthead).
Townsend plumped for a five-three split on the bench, opting for forwards Dave Cherry (hooker), Jamie Bhatti and WP Nel (props), Scott Cummings (lock) and Matt Fagerson (backrow).
Scrum-half Ali Price, centre Cameron Redpath and full-back Ollie Smith complete the 23-strong match-day squad.
BREAKING: Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his squad for Scotland’s opening fixture at the Rugby World Cup 2023 against South Africa 🏉🏴#GregorTownsend #RugbyWorldCup pic.twitter.com/Y0xGSR28Db
— Latest News (@LNews98) September 8, 2023
Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ben White; Jack Dempsey, Rory Darge, Jamie Ritchie (capt); Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray; Zander Fagerson, George Turner, Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: Dave Cherry, Jamie Bhatti, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Ali Price, Cameron Redpath, Ollie Smith