RWC 2023

Townsend looks to wider squad for victory over Romania

September 29, 2023 6:07 am

[Source: Reuters]

Prop Javan Sebastian will make his first start for Scotland as one of 13 changes to the side to face Romania in their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash in Lille on Saturday, where a victory will keep Gregor Townsend’s team in with a chance of making the quarter-finals.

Sebastian is part of an entirely new forward pack and will have fellow prop Jamie Bhatti and hooker Ewan Ashman in the front row, ahead of locks Sam Skinner and Grant Gilchrist, who takes over the captaincy from Jamie Ritchie.

Flanker Hamish Watson makes his first appearance of the tournament in the back row with Luke Crosbie and number eight Matt Fagerson.

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Scrumhalf Ali Price and Ben Healy are the halfback pairing, while Cameron Redpath and Chris Harris, who played in the 45-17 win over Tonga last Sunday, are the midfield duo.

Redpath follows in the footsteps of his father Bryan in starting at a World Cup, the latter a former scrumhalf and long-time Scotland teammate of Townsend.

Fullback Ollie Smith and wings Darcy Graham and Kyle Steyn make up the back three. The latter was also a starter against the Pacific Islanders.

Hooker Johnny Matthews is on the bench after he replaced the injured Stuart McInally in the squad and will likely earn his first minutes at the tournament.

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