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Townsend rings the Scotland changes for Romania match

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend made 13 changes to his side to face Romania in the World Cup this weekend.

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Only wing Kyle Steyn and centre Chris Harris retain their places from last week’s Tonga win to face lowly Romania in Lille on Saturday.

Lock Grant Gilchrist replaces Jamie Ritchie as captain with Townsend choosing to rest front-line players such as flyhalf Finn Russell before October 7’s crucial tie with Ireland.

Ritchie sustained concussion in the victory over the Pacific Islanders in Marseille, after having featured in Scotland’s tournament-opening loss to holders South Africa.

Tighthead prop Javan Sebastian makes his World Cup debut as does Russell’s replacement Ben Healy with hooker Johnny Matthews set for his first Scotland appearance off the bench.

Glasgow’s Matthews replaced Stuart McInally, who suffered a neck injury, in Townsend’s squad earlier this week.

Townsend’s side need to beat Romania, 14 places below them in the world rankings, ideally with a bonus point to keep their hopes of reaching the quarterfinals alive.

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If South Africa beat Tonga on Sunday, the Scots will then need to overcome tournament favourites Ireland in their final Pool B match in Paris next weekend.

Scotland: 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Kyle Steyn, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Grant Gilchrist (captain), 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Javan Sebastian, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 WP Nel, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Rory Darge, 21 George Horne, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Huw Jones.

Date: Saturday, September 30
Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT; 20.00 UK & Ireland time; 22.00 EEST)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

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