TOKYO – Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his Scotland team to face Russia in the side’s penultimate Rugby World Cup Pool A match at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on Wednesday.
Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham is the only player retained from the starting XV that defeated Samoa 34-0 in Kobe, with all eight players on the bench that day promoted to start: Fraser Brown, Scott Cummings, Zander Fagerson, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Gordon Reid, Duncan Taylor and Ryan Wilson.
Full-back Blair Kinghorn, centre Pete Horne, lock Ben Toolis and hooker George Turner get their first chance to make a mark on this year’s tournament from the kick-off, with recent squad addition Henry Pyrgos handed the opportunity to do likewise from the bench.
Wing Tommy Seymour and back-row John Barclay complete the starting side, coming in from outside the match-day 23 that faced the Pacific Islanders.
Townsend said: “First and foremost we’ve picked a team we believe is capable of defeating an increasingly impressive and combative Russia side, who are looking to finish their Pool campaign on a high.”
Glasgow Warriors pair George Horne and Adam Hastings will start together for the first time since their emphatic performance in defeat of Argentina in Resistencia last summer.
George’s elder brother, Pete, and Fraser Brown also started that day, with Brown – normally a hooker – operating on the openside of the scrum, as he will against the Bears in two days’ time and where he has featured in five of his 44 caps to date.
In the back-row Brown combines with Ryan Wilson and John Barclay – the latter returning to the squad as captain – while Scott Cummings earns his first start of the campaign alongside Toolis at lock.
Ayrshire Bulls loosehead Gordon Reid and Glasgow Warriors tighhead Fagerson complete the pack either side of hooker Turner.
In the backs, Saracens centre Duncan Taylor partners Pete Horne in midfield, with the reselected Graham joined by Kinghorn and Seymour in the back three.
Townsend added: “Any successful World Cup campaign is built on a squad effort and those players who didn’t get the opportunity to start against Samoa really helped provide that team with a quality week of preparation.
“Now it’s their chance to get stuck into our next important game as we enter the final week of our pool matches.”
RR WORLD RANKINGS – During World Cup the RR Ranking Points are DOUBLED
SCO (on 80.62 points) -vs- RUS (on 63.09 points) in a RWC match
|Possible Outcome||Rating Point
|If SCO win by 1-15 points||0.000||80.62||63.09||No|
|If SCO win by more than 15||0.000||80.62||63.09||No|
|If result is a draw||2.000||78.62||65.09||No|
|If RUS win by 1-15 points||4.000||76.62||67.09||No|
|If RUS win by more than 15||6.000||74.62||69.09||No|
15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 George Horne, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Fraser Brown, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Simon Berghan, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Jamie Ritchie, 22 Henry Pyrgos, 23 Chris Harris
15 Vasily Artemyev (c), 14 German Davydov, 13 Vladimir Ostroushko, 12 Dmitry Gerasimov, 11 Vladislav Sozonov, 10 Ramil Gaisin, 9 Dmitry Perov, 8 Nikita Vavilin, 7 Tagir Gadzhiev, 6 Vitaly Zhivatov, 5 Evgeny Elgin, 4 Andrey Ostrikov, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Stanislav Selskii, 1 Valery Morozov
Replacements: 16 Sergey Chernyshev, 17 Azamat Bitiev, 18 Vladimir Podrezov, 19 Bogdan Fedotko, 20 Andrey Garbuzov, 21 Sergey Ianiushkin, 22 Anton Sychev, 23 Yury Kushnarev
Date: Wednesday, October 9
Venue: Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Fukuroi
Kick-off: 16:15 local (08:15 BST, 07:15 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)