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Rugby World Cup: Scotland team profile

After finishing third in the Six Nations, Scotland head to France on a high but will need to be at their very best to progress from a tough Pool B that also includes reigning champions South Africa and world number one-ranked Ireland.

Confirmed Squad


Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow), Dave Cherry (Edinburgh), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow), Rory Darge (Glasgow), Jack Dempsey (Glasgow), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Glasgow), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh), Rory Sutherland (Unattached), George Turner (Glasgow), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh).


Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Ben Healy (Edinburgh), George Horne (Glasgow), Huw Jones (Glasgow), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Ali Price (Glasgow), Cameron Redpath (Bath), Finn Russell (Bath), Ollie Smith (Glasgow), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), Ben White (RC Toulon).


A brilliant fly-half during his playing days, Gregor Townsend has had a rollercoaster six years in charge of the national team but finally looks to have found the right balance.

‘Toonie' and his staff have added structure to their team's defence to go alongside their attacking flair and the Scots are now among the most entertaining counter-attacking sides in the game.

So much so that despite failing to reach the knockout rounds four years ago in Japan, they are seen as having a credible chance of upsetting Group B rivals South Africa and Ireland.

Possible First XV 

15. Blair Kinghorn
14. Darcy Graham
13. Huw Jones
12. Sione Tuipulotu
11. Duhan van der Merwe
10. Finn Russell
9. Ben White
8. Jack Dempsey
7. Hamish Watson
6. Jamie Ritchie
5. Grant Gilchrist
4. Scott Cummings
3. Zander Fagerson
2. George Turner
1. Pierre Schoeman


Stuart Hogg's decision to bring his retirement forward prompted fears that Scotland's attack would lose some edge but it has arguably been sharpened by Blair Kinghorn's inclusion at full-back.

With pocket rocket Darcy Graham and powerhouse Duhan van der Merwe either side of the Edinburgh star, the Scots can counter-attack from anywhere, while the 9-10-12-13 combination of Ben White, Finn Russell, Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones shone during the Six Nations.

Up front, George Turner looks to have nailed down the hooking role, while Scotland have a plethora of options in the back-row, with Rory Darge pushing fellow openside Hamish Watson for a place in the starting XV. 

Scotland have also displayed a penchant for producing their best showings in the second half of games and captain Jamie Ritchie says they have taken "loads of confidence" from their improved fitness.


Props Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson have both struggled for form since being selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2021. Pierre Schoeman has edged ahead of Sutherland on the loosehead side but can struggle in the scrum, while the ageing WP Nel is a step down from Fagerson.

However, Nel will be forced into action due to Fagerson being suspended for the opening two matches of the tournament after being sent off in the warm-up match against France.

In fact, discipline has been an issue for Scotland, while an injury to Finn Russell could prove disastrous. Townsend is also likely to have to manage both Van der Merwe and scrum-half Ben White's preparation with each having picked up knocks.

Key Players 

Finn Russell

Arguably the leading fly-half in world rugby, Russell seems to have buried the hatchet with Townsend following their previous disagreements and is now a vital part of the side, even captaining the team at times during the summer.

The 30-year-old is set to feature in his third World Cup, and his improved game management means his country can rely on him to make the right calls at the right time.

Jamie Ritchie

Regular captain Ritchie has returned following an ankle problem but does not look to have missed a beat.

His ability to play in all three back-row positions makes him vital for Townsend, although he may need to sharpen up his discipline due to often being overly vocal with referees.

Darcy Graham

Van der Merwe has been Scotland's main strike weapon in recent years but Graham's fantastic footwork and raw speed make him just as valuable.

A knee injury meant he missed this year's Six Nations but he has returned stronger and will be looking to improve on his underwhelming showing four years ago in Japan.

Ones to watch

Huw Jones

The centre's midfield partnership with Tuipulotu has grown over the last 12 months and the tries have flowed, with Jones touching down four times in the Six Nations.

A beautifully balanced runner, the 29-year-old may feel he has a point to prove after being overlooked for the last tournament in Japan.

Rory Darge

Another player who has recovered from a serious injury, Darge has been superb for both Glasgow and Scotland since returning from ankle surgery.

The flanker has captained the team this year and looks like a future permanent skipper. With Watson's form uncertain, Darge could well play his way into the XV.


  • To Win Outright - 40/1
  • To Reach the Final - 16/1
  • To Win Pool - 8/1

All odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

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