Scotland make 14 changes for Russia clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Scotland have made 14 changes for their third Pool A fixture against Russia in Shizuoka on Wednesday as they rest the majority of their frontline players for a potentially decisive final group game against Japan on Sunday.
Only Darcy Graham – who switches from right wing to left wing – retains his place from the side that started the 34-0 win over Samoa in Kobe.
The versatile Fraser Brown, normally a hooker, will start at openside flank for the second time in a test, having performed the same role in Argentina in June 2018.
Brown, above, has also come on as a back-row replacement in three other tests, including Scotland’s opening pool match against Ireland at World Cup 2019.
The experienced John Barclay and Ryan Wilson, both rested after the opening loss to Ireland, also start in the back row, with Barclay named as captain.
Four players who have yet to feature in this World Cup, hooker George Turner, lock Ben Toolis, centre Peter Horne and fullback Blair Kinghorn, will start the game.
Scrumhalf Henry Pyrgos, called up as a replacement for the injured Ali Price, is also poised to get his first match action from the bench.
Fullback Stuart Hogg, flyhalf Finn Russell, scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw and lock Jonny Gray have all been rested, given Scotland have a four-day turnaround before facing Japan in Yokohama on Sunday.
Squad captain Stuart McInally will be among the replacements, where Scotland have opted for a six-two split of forwards and backs. With prop Allan Dell still recovering from a head knock sustained against Samoa, tighthead Simon Berghan will provide loose-head cover.
Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 George Horne, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Fraser Brown, 6 John Barclay (captain), 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Simon Berghan, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Jamie Ritchie, 22 Henry Pyrgos, 23 Chris Harris.
Date: Wednesday, October 9
Venue: Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka Prefecture
Kick-off: 16.15 (07.15 GMT; 08.15 UK & Ireland time; 10.15 Russia-Moscow time)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)