Matthews in line for Scotland debut
Johnny Matthews is set to make his senior Scotland debut in Lille this weekend, after the Glasgow Warriors hooker was selected amongst the matchday 23 to take on Romania in this weekend’s crucial Rugby World Cup clash.
The former Scotland Club XV and Scotland U18 cap is one of 10 Warriors named in Gregor Townsend’s squad for Saturday night’s showdown, with Scotland knowing that a bonus-point victory is vital to the pursuit of a place in the quarter-finals.
Five of the Warriors selected will run out for the opening kick-off at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with Jamie Bhatti making his first start of the tournament at loose-head prop.
Matt Fagerson starts at number eight after coming off the bench in both of Scotland’s opening two fixtures, continuing a run that has seen him feature in 19 of Scotland’s last 20 matches in all competitions.
Behind the scrum, Ali Price is given the nod at scrum-half, the 2021 British and Irish Lion having featured off the bench in round one against South Africa.
Kyle Steyn continues on the wing after his try-scoring display against Tonga, the Glasgow skipper having made more metres than anyone bar Duhan van der Merwe against the Ikale Tahi.
Ollie Smith joins Steyn in the back-three, the full-back making his first start at a Rugby World Cup a year on from his senior international debut.
Scott Cummings rotates to the replacements after impressing in the engine room last weekend, the second-rower joining Matthews as one of five further Warriors lying in wait on the bench.
Rory Darge covers the back-row after starting in the opening two matches of the tournament, the flanker having crossed for the bonus-point try in the win over Tonga.
Another try-scorer from last weekend wears the number 21 jersey, as George Horne continues as the replacement scrum-half.
Huw Jones rounds out the Glasgow cohort selected for Saturday’s clash, the centre having featured in both of Scotland’s matches to date.
The match kicks off at 8pm UK time this Saturday, with supporters able to watch the match live on STV and ITV1.
Scotland team to play Romania in the Rugby World Cup 2023 (Pool B) fixture at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille, on Saturday 30 September 2023, kick-off 8pm(BST) – live on STV and ITV
1. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 33 caps
2. Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) 10 caps
3. Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh Rugby) 6 caps
4. Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 29 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 66 caps
6. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 5 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice-captain – 58 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 38 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 64 caps
10. Ben Healy (Edinburgh Rugby) 3 caps
11. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 14 caps
12. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 8 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) – Vice-captain – 45 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) 37 caps
15. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps
16. Johnny Matthews (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
17. Rory Sutherland (unattached) 27 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 59 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
20. Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 24 caps
22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 48 caps
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 41 caps