Kinghorn reaches half-century as Scotland team named for final Pool B encounter
Blair Kinghorn will win a 50th Scotland cap as one of 12 changes to head coach Gregor Townsend’s starting line-up for Saturday’s crucial Rugby World Cup 2023 fixture against Ireland at Stade de France, Paris.
The full-back lines up as part of a back-three containing wingers Darcy Graham – who bagged four tries in last week’s win against Romania – and Duhan van der Merwe.
Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones resume a familiar starting centre partnership which has enjoyed nine outings in 2023.
As part of a half-back pairing that will combine to pass 140 caps on Saturday, scrum-half Ali Price gets the nod to partner stand-off Finn Russell, a vice-captain.
Loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman and tighthead Zander Fagerson return to the front row alongside hooker George Turner.
Grant Gilchrist, who led Scotland in their previous match against Romania, is joined in an experienced second row by Richie Gray, with openside flanker Rory Darge and number 8 Jack Dempsey featuring in a back row completed by returning captain Jamie Ritchie at blindside.
The replacements comprise backline options George Horne and Ollie Smith, as Townsend opts for a six-strong forwards bench bolstered by front row reinforcements Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland and WP Nel, as well as Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson and Luke Crosbie.
After wins over Tonga and Romania, victory in Pool B’s final match, against Ireland, could see Scotland reach the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup 2023.
Scotland team to play Ireland in the Rugby World Cup 2023 (Pool B) fixture at Stade de France, Paris, on Saturday 7 October 2023, kick-off 8pm (BST) – live on STV and ITV:
15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 49 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 42 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 21 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 33 caps
10. Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) – Vice-captain – 74 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 65 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 25 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 39 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 61 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 77 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice-captain – 67 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 45 caps
7. Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 14 caps
8. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 14 caps
16. Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) 11 caps
17. Rory Sutherland (unattached) 27 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 60 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps
20. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 39 caps
21. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 6 caps
22. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
23. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps