Last updated: 08/09/23 at 12:26 PM

Darcy Graham will start for Scotland in their Rugby World Cup opener against South Africa

Coach Gregor Townsend has announced his squad for Scotland’s opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup against defending champions South Africa on Sunday.

Captain Jimmy Ritchie captains his side in their Group B clash with defending champions South Africa at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, with the blindside winger joined in the back row from the open side by Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey at No.8.

Richie Gray and Grant Gilchrist, both of whom will be appearing in their third Rugby World Cup, combine in the second row.

George Turner gets the nod as hooker, along with Pierre Schumann (loose prop) and Zander Fagerson (tight head).

At the back, Finn Russell – who is also preparing for a third such tournament – teams up with scrum-half Ben White, with centers Sioni Tuipolo and Hugh Jones continuing their partnership against the Springbok.

Excellent wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham were joined in the back three by full-back Blair Kinghorn.

The Scots’ substitutes include attacking hooker Dave Cherry, props Jimmy Bhatti and WP Neil (the latter another group to feature in a Rugby World Cup hat-trick), plus the versatile Scott Cummings and Matt Fagerson.

Scrum-half Ali Price, center Cameron Redpath and full-back Ollie Smith complete Townsend’s 23-man selection.

Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Hugh Jones, 12 Sione Tuipolo, 11 Doohan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben White; 1 Pierre Schuman 2 George Turner, 3 Xander Fagerson, 4 Ritchie Gray, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Jimmy Ritchie, 7 Rory Darge 8 Jack Dempsey

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