12 Warriors selected for Scotland in Rugby World Cup opener

12 Warriors selected for Scotland in Rugby World Cup opener

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a matchday 23 containing 12 Glasgow Warriors for his side’s opening match of their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign, as defending champions South Africa lie in wait at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

The Warriors contribute more players to the matchday squad than any other club, as Scotland go in search of a first victory over the Springboks since a Dan Parks-masterminded win at Scottish Gas Murrayfield in 2010.

Richie Gray is the most-experienced player named in the matchday squad, the second-rower lining up for his 76th cap at his third Rugby World Cup.

Zander Fagerson comes into the starting XV to line up at tight-head, with the 2021 British and Irish Lion returning from suspension to pack down at the coal face.

George Turner joins his club-mate in the front row, after being rested for his side’s final warm-up match for the tournament against Georgia at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

Rory Darge retains the number seven shirt as the openside prepares for his Rugby World Cup debut, the 23-year-old having captained his country for the first time and crossed for two tries in a memorable Summer Nations Series campaign.

Jack Dempsey lines up at number eight, starting alongside club-mate Darge and captain Jamie Ritchie in an unchanged back-row for the third successive match.

Behind the scrum, Sione Tuipulotu makes his Rugby World Cup debut after a barnstorming first two seasons at Scotstoun, pulling on the number 12 shirt for the clash with the Springboks.

Similarly, Huw Jones makes his first appearance on rugby’s biggest stage after missing out on selection four years ago, the outside centre rewarded for a scintillating first season back in Glasgow colours.

Huw Jones pictured at the Scotland squad announcement for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Five further Warriors await their call from the replacements bench, with Jamie Bhatti selected as the replacement loose-head prop after a 2022/23 season that saw the man from Alva shortlisted for the McCrea Financial Services Player of the Season award.

Scott Cummings runs out at his second Rugby World Cup tournament, the second-rower set to win his 30th cap from the bench in Marseille.

Matt Fagerson covers the back-row, making his 18th appearance in Scotland’s last 19 matchday squads.

Ali Price is selected as the replacement scrum-half, having previously featured in all three Test matches against South Africa on the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour.

Ollie Smith completes the Glasgow contingent, the full-back set to run out for his first appearance at a Rugby World Cup just a year on from his senior international debut.

Supporters can watch the match live this Sunday on STV and ITV, with kick-off in Marseille at 4.45pm UK time.

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:

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

9.  Ben White (Toulon) 16 caps
10. Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) – Vice-captain – 72 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 31 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 19 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 39 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 35 caps
15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 46 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

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