Gregor Townsend makes 14 changes to Scotland team for World Cup bonus-point hunt against Russia

Gregor Townsend looks on as Scotland train in the Hamamutsu district of Shizuoka today. Picture: Getty Images
Gregor Townsend looks on as Scotland train in the Hamamutsu district of Shizuoka today. Picture: Getty Images
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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has made 14 changes to his starting team for Wednesday's Rugby World Cup Pool A clash with Russia in Shizuoka.

Wing Darcy Graham is the only survivor from the XV who started the 34-0 win over Samoa in Kobe last Monday as Townsend looks to utilise his squad with a potentially decisive match against Japan coming after just four days break in Yokohama on Sunday.

Captain Stuart McInally has been named on the bench along with other potential starters against Japan such as WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury. Returning back-rower John Barclay will skipper the side, with Ryan Wilson at No 8 and hooker Fraser Brown reverting to his old openside flanker position with an international start in the No 7 jersey for only the second time after he did the same in Argentina last summer.

Full-back Blair Kinghorn, centre Pete Horne, lock Ben Toolis and hooker George Turner all get their first taste of action at the tournament, with called-up scrum-half Henry Pyrgos on the bench backing up George Horne, who partners stand-off Adam Hastings at half-back.

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.

“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.”

SCOTLAND TEAM

to play Russia at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa in Rugby World Cup 2019
Wednesday 9 October (kick-off 8.15am BST, 4.15pm local time) – live on ITV/STV

15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 15 caps

14. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 53 caps
13. Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 25 caps
12. Pete Horne VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps
11. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 9 caps

10. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 15 caps
9. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 8 caps

1. Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls) – 39 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 8 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 23 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps
5. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 21 caps
6. John Barclay CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 75 caps
7. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 44 caps
8. Ryan Wilson VICE CAPTAIN (Glasgow Warriors) – 47 caps

Substitutes:
16. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 31 caps
17. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 23 caps
18. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 33 caps
19. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 38 caps
20. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 9 caps
21. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 13 caps
22. Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
23. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 12 caps

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