Scotland name team for RWC opener against Japan

Stuart Hogg has been named at fullback for Scotland

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has named his team to play in their Rugby World
Cup opening match against Japan at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester on Wednesday.

Cotter has named Stuart Hogg at fullback and the team will be led by Greig
Laidlaw who is partnered with stand-off Finn Russell.

Scotland and Japan have met on four previous Test-capped occasions – twice
in the Rugby World Cup – and Scotland remain undefeated against the Asian side.

The most recent clash between the nations was a 42-17 autumn win at Murrayfield
two years ago.

Japan then went on to record 11 consecutive wins to help elevate their status
to a top-ten side in the World Rugby rankings for the first time, before underlining
their improved status with a 34-32 win over South Africa in their opening game
of the Rugby World Cup.

Cotter said: “We’ve prepared well for what will be a very tough Test against
a powerful and fit Japanese team, who like to play a high-tempo game.

“They (Japan) will have taken a lot of confidence from their opening win
over South Africa however that doesn’t change our approach to this game or the
pool.

“The priority for us to ensure that we get our jobs right with accuracy,
and impose ourselves on the game.”

Centres Matt Scott and Mark Bennett have been given the nod to get Scotland’s
campaign underway in midfield, with full-back Stuart Hogg and wings Sean Lamont
and Tommy Seymour completing the back division.

Edinburgh Rugby prop Alasdair Dickinson will also run out in familiar surroundings,
with the former Gloucesterman (2007-11) selected to start alongside club-mates
Ross Ford (hooker) and Willem Nel (prop).

Grant Gilchrist will partner Jonny Gray in the second-row, with Ryan Wilson,
John Hardie and number 8 David Denton named as the starting loose forwards.

On the bench Ryan Grant has recovered from his ankle injury to join Fraser
Brown and Jon Welsh as the front-row replacements, Richie Gray and the uncapped
Josh Strauss deputise at lock and back-row, while Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne
and Sean Maitland provide cover across the backs.

Scotland

15 Stuart Hogg,14 Tommy Seymour , 13 Mark Bennett , 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean
Lamont,10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c),8 David Denton ,7 John Hardie ,6
Ryan Wilson ,5 Jonny Gray,4 Grant Gilchrist,3 Willem Nel , 2 Ross Ford ,1 Alasdair
Dickinson

Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown , 17 Ryan Grant , 18 Jon Welsh , 19 Richie Gray
, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos , 22 Peter Horne , 23 Sean Maitland

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