Published: 13:51 | 20/9/19

Townsend: ‘Only best will do against Ireland’


Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named his team to face Ireland in Yokohama on Sunday, saying that “only their best will do” if they are to cause an upset.

There are ten changes from the side that beat Georgia in the final warm-up game as Townsend opts for experience over youth in a bid to upset their main Pool A rivals (LIVE on eir sport 1 from 7.45am this Sunday).

Duncan Taylor and Sam Johnson will start together in the centre, while Tommy Seymour is preferred to Darcy Graham on the wing.

Greig Laidlaw is named at scrum-half ahead of Ali Price to partner Finn Russell at ten, with Ryan Wilson at number eight and Glasgow’s Jonny Gray in the second row alongside Edinburgh's Grant Gilchrist.

"Our team has a lot of experience playing together in major games for Scotland, with a bench capable of making a difference when required,” Townsend said.

"That cohesion, experience and leadership is very valuable in a build-up to a match of this magnitude as well as during the 80 minutes on Sunday.

"In Ireland, we face a quality opposition who, over the past number of years, have earned the right to be the number one ranked side in the world.

"We know them well and are well aware of the strengths they possess throughout their squad. We expect them to play very well, as they did in their most recent games against Wales, so only our best performance will do in order to win.

"The prospect of facing them in the opening round of a Rugby World Cup is a fantastic challenge for our players and supporters around the world."

Scotland: Hogg; Seymour, Taylor, Johnson, Maitland; Russell, Laidlaw; Dell, McInally (captain), Nel, Gilchrist, Gray, Barclay, Watson, Wilson.

Replacements: Brown, Reid, Berghan, Cummings, Thomson, Price, Harris, Graham.

Image: INPHO

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