Darcy Graham passed fit for Scotland in World Cup opener against South Africa

The Edinburgh wing missed the last warm-up match with a quad strain but is now ready to play.

Anthony Brown
Friday 08 September 2023 12:22 BST
Darcy Graham is back in the Scotland XV after injury (Jane Barlow/PA)
Darcy Graham is back in the Scotland XV after injury (Jane Barlow/PA)

Darcy Graham has been passed fit to start Scotland’s Rugby World Cup opener against South Africa on Sunday after his pre-tournament injury scare.

The 26-year-old Edinburgh wing – seventh on the national team’s all-time scoring list – missed the last warm-up match with a quad strain but, after coming through training in Nice this week, he has now been cleared to play.

Prop Zander Fagerson is also back in the team after being suspended for the last two summer Tests following his red card in the victory at home to France five weeks ago. The Glasgow front-rower goes into the match having played less than an hour of rugby since the end of last season.

In a selection featuring no real surprises, Jack Dempsey has got the nod over Matt Fagerson to start at eight, with the latter on the bench. Captain Jamie Ritchie and the burgeoning Rory Darge complete the back row, with the experienced Hamish Watson missing out on the 23.

The Scots have gone for a five-to-three split on the bench, with Ali Price, Cam Redpath and Ollie Smith the three backs selected, meaning there is no place in the squad for in-form wing Kyle Steyn.

In a notable development, Stuart McInally – who was cut from the squad at the end of last month – has travelled to France as injury cover for Ewan Ashman, who is recovering from an injury picked up in training this week which ruled him out of the match against South Africa.

McInally, who had already announced his intention to retire from rugby after the World Cup, has not joined the 33-player squad. Dave Cherry is the replacement hooker this weekend.

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