Rugby World Cup 2023: Scotland name Darcy Graham in team for opening clash against South Africa

        Rugby World Cup 2023: Scotland name Darcy Graham in team for opening clash against South Africa

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

Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his squad for Scotland’s opening fixture at Rugby World Cup 2023 against holders South Africa on Sunday.

Captain Jamie Ritchie leads his country in their Pool B clash with defending champions South Africa at Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome, the blindside flanker joined in the back row by openside Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey at number 8.

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

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George Turner gets the nod at hooker, packing down with Pierre Schoeman (loosehead prop) and Zander Fagerson (tighthead).

In the back division, Finn Russell – also primed for a third such tournament – links up with scrum-half Ben White, with centres Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones continuing their partnership for the Springbok showdown.

Prolific wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham are joined in the back three by full back Blair Kinghorn.

Scotland’s forward replacements comprise hooker Dave Cherry, props Jamie Bhatti and WP Nel (the latter another set to appear at a trio of Rugby World Cups), as well as the versatile Scott Cummings and Matt Fagerson.

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

Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben White; 1 Pierre Schoeman 2 George Turner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 7 Rory Darge 8 Jack Dempsey