Scotland team named for Rugby World Cup 2023 opener
Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his squad for Scotland’s opening fixture at Rugby World Cup 2023 against South Africa, this Sunday 10 September – kick-off 4.45pm (BST), live on STV and ITV.
Captain Jamie Ritchie leads his country in their Pool B clash with defending champions South Africa at Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome, the blindside flanker joined in the back row by openside Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey at number 8.
Richie Gray and Grant Gilchrist, both of whom will be appearing at a third Rugby World Cup, combine in the second row.
George Turner gets the nod at hooker, packing down with Pierre Schoeman (loosehead prop) and Zander Fagerson (tighthead).
In the back division, Finn Russell – also primed for a third such tournament – links up with scrum-half Ben White, with centres Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones continuing their partnership for the Springbok showdown.
Prolific wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham are joined in the back three by full back Blair Kinghorn.
Scotland’s forward replacements comprise hooker Dave Cherry, props Jamie Bhatti and WP Nel (the latter another set to appear at a trio of Rugby World Cups), as well as the versatile Scott Cummings and Matt Fagerson.
Scrum-half Ali Price, centre Cameron Redpath and full back Ollie Smith complete Townsend’s 23-player selection.
Injury update: Stuart McInally has travelled out 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 has not joined the 33-player squad.
You can follow the game in our Live Match Centre on the Scottish Rugby website on Sunday afternoon with in-game updates, live stats and reaction from former Scotland international Tommy Seymour.
Scotland team to play South Africa in the Rugby World Cup 2023 (Pool B) fixture at Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, on Sunday 10 September 2023, kick-off 4.45pm (BST) – live on STV and ITV:
15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 46 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 35 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 39 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 19 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 31 caps
10. Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) – Vice-captain – 72 caps
9. Ben White (Toulon) 16 caps
1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 37 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 59 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 75 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice-captain – 65 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 43 caps
7. Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
8. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 12 caps
16. Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) 10 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 57 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 29 caps
20. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 36 caps
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 63 caps
22. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 7 caps
23. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps