A last-place finish in the Six Nations was hardly the ideal preparation in a World Cup year. However, the location of two of Scotland’s group matches could make them a force to reckoned with in Pool B.
Scotland face both South Africa and Samoa at St James’ Park, Newcastle - a mere 45 miles away from the Anglo-Scottish border. With an estimated… thousand Scotland fans expected to travel to Newcastle during the Rugby World Cup, Tyneside will be like a second-home for the Scots.
Forwards: Alasdair Dickinson, Ryan Grant, WP Nel, Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh, Fraser Brown, Ross Ford, Stuart McInally, Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist, Tim Swinson, David Denton, Josh Strauss, Ryan Wilson, John Hardie, Alasdair Stokosch.
Backs: Greig Laidlaw (c), Henry Pyrgos, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Finn Russell, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Peter Horne, Richie Vernon, Stuart Hogg, Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Tim Visser.
ONE TO WATCH
Jon Welsh: Capped seven times by Scotland and featured during the recent Six Nations. After spending seven years with Glasgow Warriors, the 28-year-old will join Newcastle Falcons for their 2015-16 Premiership campaign.
Royal Grammar School, Newcastle
MATCHES (Pool B)
Wed 23 Sept: Scotland 45–10Japan (Kingsholm, 2:30pm)
Sun 27 Sept: Scotland 39-16 USA (Elland Road, 2:30pm)
SAT 3 OCT: SOUTH AFRICA V SCOTLAND (ST JAMES’ PARK, 4:45PM)
SAT 10 OCT: SAMOA V SCOTLAND (ST JAMES’ PARK, 2:30PM)