RWC19: Saracens duo start for Scotland
Saracens duo Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor have been named in Scotland’s starting XV for their opening World Cup match against Ireland.
The starting team – of which two-thirds have previous World Cup experience – features a total of 630 Test caps, with 10 personnel changes made to the one that defeated Georgia 36-9 in the final Summer Test in Edinburgh earlier this month.
Scotland are in a Pool alongside Ireland, Japan, Russia and Samoa.
Maitland, who is appearing at a World Cup for a second time, returns to the back three for his 43rd cap while Taylor has been reinstated in midfield.
Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, said: “We’ve had a really productive week’s preparation in Nagasaki ahead of our arrival in Tokyo, with our players adapting to the time zone and weather conditions out here in Japan.
“As we’ve got closer to the game our training has been more about fine-tuning the hard work that’s gone in over pre-season into a focus for Sunday’s game.
“Our team has a lot of experience playing together in major games for Scotland, with a bench capable of making a difference when required. That cohesion, experience and leadership is very valuable in a build-up to a match of this magnitude as well as during the 80 minutes on Sunday.”