Scotland to face South Africa, Australia and Japan

SCOTLAND will face South Africa and Australia at Murrayfield this autumn and take on Japan at full Test level at a venue still to be decided.
Scotland will face South Africa at Murrayfield as they did last year (pictured). Picture: PAScotland will face South Africa at Murrayfield as they did last year (pictured). Picture: PA
Scotland will face South Africa at Murrayfield as they did last year (pictured). Picture: PA

The game against Japan, the host of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, will be a cap Test match, the countries last having met in 2010 at Murrayfield in a non-cap encounter which was part of Scotland’s preparations for their summer tour to Argentina. Scotland have faced the Japanese on three other full Test occasions, the last resulting in a record 100-8 win for the hosts at McDiarmid Park in Perth when Japan sent a severely weakened team.

It will take place on Saturday 9 November with a 2.30pm kick-off, but the SRU are still looking at whether to stage that opening autumn match at Murrayfield or at a smaller venue. It will not be played in Aberdeen, however, which has hosted games against tier two nations in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

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Scotland will then play host to the Springboks for the second year in a row, on Sunday 17 November, kick-off 3pm, and will conclude their autumn series on Saturday 23 November by defending the Hopetoun Cup that they retained in New South Wales last summer, when they host the Wallabies at Murrayfield (kick-off 6pm).

The Sunday match will not please supporters in the north, but all three matches will be televised by the BBC to some degree. The Japan game will be shown on BBC Scotland and via the red button in the rest of the UK; the match against the Springboks will be on BBC One and BBC One HD and the match against Australia will be on BBC 2 and BBC 2 HD.

The SRU’s director of commercial operations, communications and public affairs, Dominic McKay, said: “We’re delighted to be able to confirm our Test matches for this November and are finalising some special season-long ticket packages for our supporters at present.

“This season our cumulative attendance for Murrayfield Test matches was more than 300,000, which speaks volumes both for the depth of support for an improving Scotland team and also for our determination to structure our ticket prices so that we give every family in Scotland the opportunity to watch international rugby in the flesh.

“We’re also very pleased to continue our long-standing association with the BBC, who will again broadcast our Autumn Tests and ensure Scotland supporters throughout the United Kingdom who can’t make it to the game in person are able to cheer on their team.”

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater insisted that there was a demand for Scotland Test matches. “The Autumn internationals are a highlight in the rugby calendar,” she said, “and we’re delighted to be providing coverage of Scotland’s matches.”