A team always improving, Scotland face a huge match against Ireland in their World Cup opener.

Scotland Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide

They have taken big steps in the last few seasons, but defeat in their 2019 Rugby World Cup opener against Ireland could propel them towards second spot in Pool A and a likely knockout tie with New Zealand.

How They Qualified

Scotland were one of the 12 automatic qualifiers for the 2019 tournament.

Key Players

If Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg are the trapeze artists, Greig Laidlaw is the safety net. The adventurous style of Russell and Hogg excites, but Clermont’s nine can control the tempo and kick points.

Control: Laidlaw will dictate games, and Hogg will excite in Japan (Getty Images)

The Coach – Gregor Townsend

The former Scotland fly-half is known as an innovator who loves detail. He took over after a successful reign at Glasgow Warriors and has masterminded big wins for Scotland. This is his first World Cup in charge but he was an assistant in 2011.

Debut: This is Townsend’s first World Cup in charge (Getty Images)

Major Work-ons

When Scotland’s continuity-based, rapid style works it shocks teams, but they cannot escape the physical nature of Test rugby. Without any devastating ball-carriers, they need a team effort carrying into contact.

Scotland Rugby World Cup Warm-Ups

  • Saturday 17 August 2019: France v Scotland, Venue TBC (kick-off TBC)
  • Saturday 24 August 2019: Georgia v Scotland, Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia (kick-off TBC)
  • Saturday 31 August 2019: Scotland v France, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)
  • Friday 6/Saturday 7 September 2019: Scotland v Georgia, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-ups

Scotland Rugby World Cup Group

Scotland are in Group A alongside Ireland, Japan, Russia and Samoa.

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Groups

Scotland Rugby World Cup Fixtures

  • Sun 22 Sep Ireland v Scotland (Yokohama)
  • Mon 30 Sep Scotland v Samoa (Kobe)
  • Wed 9 Oct Scotland v Russia (Shizuoka)
  • Sun 13 Oct Japan v Scotland (Yokohama)

Crucial: Scotland face Ireland in their first match of the tournament (Getty Images)

Scotland Rugby World Cup Squad

Gregor Townsend has named his 42-man wider training squad for the Rugby World Cup:

FORWARDS (23)
John Barclay (Edinburgh) – 71 caps
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 19 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 42 caps
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 33 caps
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 51 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 29 caps
Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 34 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 10 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 5 caps
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 22 caps
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – uncapped
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps

BACKS (19)
Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 8 caps
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 67 caps
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) – uncapped
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 71 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 40 caps
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 8 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 44 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps
Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 21 caps

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Fixtures

Previous World Cup Results and Record

Scotland’s Rugby World Cup Record: P38 W22 D1 L15

  • 1987 Quarter-finals
  • 1991 Fourth
  • 1995 Quarter-finals
  • 1999 Quarter-finals
  • 2003 Quarter-finals
  • 2007 Quarter-finals
  • 2011 Pool stages
  • 2015 Quarter-finals

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