Townsend set to field “strong” side against Georgia
Now the 33-man Scotland squad for the Rugby World Cup has been named, attention turns to Scotland’s final match of The Famous Grouse Nations Series against Georgia a week on Saturday (26 August, kick-off 5.30pm).
The game at Scottish Gas Murrayfield will not only be the squad’s final match before the Rugby World Cup, but will also be their final home game of 2023 with no Autumn internationals this year.
Speaking at yesterday’s squad announcement, Head Coach Gregor Townsend says he aims to field as strong a side as possible against the Georgians.
He said: “We’ll go as strong as we believe we can. That will be adjusted on where players are in training, whether they have any niggles, any combinations we want to see more of, what we want to see from the bench. There were a couple of guys who have small issues from last weekend’s game, but we believe everyone is available for selection just now.
“If we don’t put a group out that might be similar to the group that plays South Africa, it’s going to be a month where they’ve not played a game. I don’t think that’s the best preparation for a Test match.
“The more our strongest group of players get to play together, the better we’ll be for that South Africa game. The players want that too: everybody wants to play that Georgia game.
“We understand there will be a group of players who haven’t played much rugby going into the World Cup, but our goal will be to get that group that is most likely to be involved against South Africa to get those connections in a Test-match environment.
“The players have been magnificent in training, but training doesn’t replicate what you’re going to get in a game. The Georgia game will be very important for us in how we continue to improve and progress before we play South Africa.”
Townsend also revealed Ben White is progressing well after coming off in the home match against France at the start of the month and could feature next weekend.
He added: “Ben’s good. He had a meeting with the specialist on Monday and that was positive.
“He ran on Tuesday, which was the first time he’d run in 10 days, so we’ll see over the next two or three days if he’ll be available for next week’s game – that’s the target.
“It would be nice to have him available for next week but if he doesn’t come right for that, we know he’ll be available for South Africa.”
Tickets are still available HERE for Scotland’s final game before the Rugby World Cup against Georgia at Scottish Gas Murrayfield on Saturday 26 August (kick-off 5.30pm).
Tickets are £21 for adults (buy before midnight on Sunday 20 August to avoid match-week prices). Children under 12 go free with a paying adult until midnight on Thursday 24 August (T&Cs apply).
Come along and give the squad a big send-off!