Townsend makes 14 changes to face Russia

Scotland Rugby Union head coach Gregor Townsend has made no less than 14 changes to his side that will take on Russia this Wednesday in their most win Pool A match up.

With a place in the final eight still possible following his sides 34-0 win over Samoa, only Darcy Graham reminds from the starting line up as Townsend looks to rotate his squad and prepare for a possible winner takes all clash with host side Japan on Sunday.

Experienced flanker John Barclay earns a recall to lead the side after being dropped following the opening day defeat to Ireland. He is joined by world cup newcomers full back Blair Kinghorn, Centre Pete Horne, lock Ben Toolis and hooker George Turner who all make their first appearances of the world cup so far. Pete Horne’s younger brother who came off the bench against Samoa will start at scrum half linking up with Glasgow warriors team mate Adam Hastings who starts at fly half.

Fraser Brown, who has been used as a replacement hooker for the opening two games moves into the back row alongside Barclay and Ryan Wilson, who also comes back into the side and will be looking to impress following the Irish defeat.

Speaking about his selection Townsend quickly pointed out that;

            “First and foremost we've picked a team we believe is capable of defeating an increasingly impressive and combative Russia side, who are looking to finish their Pool campaign on a high,”
                 “Any successful World Cup campaign is built on a squad effort and those players who didn't get the opportunity to start against Samoa really helped provide that team with a quality week of preparation.
                  “Now it's their chance to get stuck into our next important game.”

Scotland will need to earn a bonus point against the Russians who have so far lost three from three in the world cup, if they are have a chance of progressing into the knock out stages.

Scotland: Kinghorn; Seymour, Taylor, P Horne, Graham; Hastings, G Horne; Reid, Turner, Fagerson; Cummings, Toolis; Barclay, Brown, Wilson.
Replacements: McInally, Berghan, Nel, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Ritchie, Pyrgos, Harris.

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