Rugby World Cup – Scotland profile: Full squad, head coach, fixtures, key player, prediction and odds

A closer look at Gregor Townsend’s side ahead of Japan 2019

Samuel Lovett
Wednesday 18 September 2019 10:51
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Rugby World Cup 2019 in numbers

When it comes to Scotland, there’s an underlying sense that Gregor Townsend’s men may have their eyes set beyond Japan 2019.

The team very much remains a work in progress, having blown hot and cold across the past 12 months.

Indeed, although the Scots picked up just one win at the Six Nations earlier this year, they showed what they’re capable of in a thrilling 38-38 with England at Twickenham.

Two wins over Georgia and a home victory against France followed in the summer warm-ups, but Townsend will know that a impressive outing in Japan could be the platform his side needs to push on and build for France 2023.

Scotland have been drawn in Pool A alongside Ireland, hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa. Should they progress, a potential showdown with either New Zealand or South Africa awaits.

Squad

Forwards: John Barclay, Simon Berghan, Fraser Brown, Scott Cummings, Allan Dell, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Gordon Reid, Jamie Ritchie, Blade Thomson, Ben Toolis, George Turner, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson

Backs: Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Pete Horne, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor

Head coach

Gregor Townsend. The former player, who represented Scotland on 82 occasions, has been in charge of the national side since 2017. He signed a contract renewal in 2018, extending his current commitments to 2021 at the earliest.

Key player

Finn Russell. Having made his first appearance at the World Cup in 2015 as an inexperienced 22-year-old, the fly-half has since blossomed into one of the game’s very best. With world-class creativity and vision at his disposal, Russell is the beating heart to this Scotland side.

Finn Russell scores a try against England in the Six Nations earlier this year 

Past record

Scotland’s best performance at the Rugby World Cup came in 1991 when they reached the semi-finals, only to lose 9-6 to England at Murrayfield. Excluding 2011, they’ve reached the last eight ever since.

Prediction

Another quarter-final berth for the Scots, after an impressive group-stage campaign, followed by a hammering from either New Zealand or South Africa.

Fixtures

  • Sunday 22 September – Ireland vs Scotland (8.45am BST), Yokohama 
  • Monday 30 September –  Scotland vs Samoa (11.15am), Kobe 
  • Wednesday 9 October – Scotland vs Russia (8.15am), Shizuoka
  • Sunday 13 October – Japan vs Scotland (11.45am), Yokohama

Odds

Scotland to win the World Cup: 50/1

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