Four changes to starting XV for Tonga match

Four changes to starting XV for Tonga match

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made four changes to Scotland’s starting line-up for their second Pool B fixture at Rugby World Cup 2023, with Kyle Steyn, Chris Harris, Rory Sutherland and Scott Cummings all named to face Tonga in Nice on Sunday.

Kyle Steyn comes into the starting XV in place of winger Darcy Graham and has fond memories of playing against Tonga, having run in four tries against the Pacific Island side in November 2021 in a 60-14 win. Duhan van der Merwe is named on the other wing and will aim to add to his 20-try tally from 32 caps.

Chris Harris returns to the 13 jersey for the first time since Scotland’s 25-13 victory over Italy in the summer and he will partner Sione Tuipulotu, who starts for the fifth consecutive match, at centre.

Blair Kinghorn retains his spot at full-back with Finn Russell and Ben White once again named as the half-back partnership.

In the forwards, Sutherland comes in at loosehead and is joined in the front-row by Zander Fagerson (tighthead) and hooker George Turner. Cummings and Richie Gray make up the second row.

The back row is unchanged from the opener against South Africa, with captain Jamie Ritchie named at blindside flanker, Rory Darge on the openside and Jack Dempsey again selected at the base of the scrum.

Among the replacements, hooker Ewan Ashman and scrum-half George Horne return after missing out on the opening game through concussion.

Pierre Schoeman will start the match on the bench and fellow prop WP Nel retains his spot in the 23 along with Matt Fagerson, who offers cover across the back row positions.

Second-row Sam Skinner will be aiming for his first Rugby World Cup appearance from the bench with Huw Jones and Darcy Graham looking to make an impact as substitutes.

Scotland team to play Tonga in the Rugby World Cup 2023 (Pool B) fixture at Stade De Nice, Nice, on Sunday 24 September 2023, kick-off 4.45pm (BST) – live on STV and ITV:

15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 47 caps
14. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 44 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 20 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 32 caps

10. Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) – Vice-Captain – 73 caps
9. Ben White (Toulon) 17 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Unattached) 24 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 38 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 60 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 76 caps
5. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 44 caps
7. Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) – Vice-Captain – 12 caps
8. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps

16. Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) 9 caps
17. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 24 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 58 caps
19. Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 28 caps
20. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 37 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 23 caps
22. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 40 caps
23. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 36 caps

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