Scotland vs Japan - RWC 2015 preview: What time does it start, where can I watch it?

A look ahead to the Pool B fixture at Kingsholm which sees Scotland, hoping to get their World Cup campaign off to a winning start, against a Japan side still basking in their glory against the Springboks

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The Independent Online

It’s a big game for…

Richie Gray. Although named on the bench, the British and Irish Lion needs to prove himself. His form which led to his call up to the famous red jersey has eluded him of late and injury before this year’s Six Nations meant his younger brother, Jonny, has leapfrogged him into a starting shirt.

Teams...

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw; David Denton, John Hardie, Ryan Wilson; Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist; WP Nel, Ross Ford, Alasdair Dickinson.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Ryan Grant, Jon Welsh, Richie Gray, Josh Strauss, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Sean Maitland.

Japan: Ayumu Goromaru; Kotaro Matsushima, Male S’au, Yu Tamura, Kenki Fukuoka; Harumichi Tatekawa, Fumiaki Tanaka; Amanaki Tanaka, Michael Broadhurst, Michael Leitch (c); Justin Ives, Luke Thompson; Hiroshi Yamashita, Shota Horie, Keita Inagaki

Replacements: Takeshi Kizu, Masataka Mikami, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Shinya Makabe, Shoji Ito, Hendrik Tui, Atsushi Hiwasa, Karne Hesketh.

Best stat…

220 - 45: The cumulative scores of the four matches Scotland and Japan have played since their first meeting in the second World Cup. Scotland, though, will be cautious given the fight the Brave Blossoms gave the Springboks.

 

Remember when…

Scotland reached a century? Japan had selected a new coach following the 2003 World Cup, their second choice of Mitsutake Hagimoto, who was chosen when Eddie Jones turned down the post. After scaring the Scots in the World Cup, the visitors fell apart after a selection policy of home born players following criticism, which led to a demoralised and weakened showing. Chris Paterson scored 40 points in the victory, one of his greatest hauls ever.

 

Player to watch…

Ayumu Goromaru. The man of the match against South Africa dominated from the boot and kept the scoreboard ticking over. One of Japan’s most experienced players, he galvanised his team to produce the greatest shock in World Cup history.

Past three-meetings…

Scotland 42 (Seymour 2, Laidlaw, Dickinson, Weir, Lamont) Japan 17 (Fukuoka 2) Autumn Internationals - November 2013

Scotland 100 (Hogg, Southwell (2), Paterson (3), Parks, Petrie, Blair, Henderson, Morrison, Lamont, MacFadyen, Russell (2)) Japan 8 (Faiman)  Autumn Internationals - November 2004

Scotland 31 (Paterson (2), Grimes, Taylor, Danielli) Japan 11 (Onozawa) Rugby World Cup Pool B October 2003

Form guide…

Scotland: LLLWWL

Japan: WLLLLW

Vital information…

KICK-OFF TIME: 2.30pm Wednesday 23rd September

TV: Live on ITV, highlights on ITV4

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