Strauss named on Scotland bench

Date published: September 21 2015

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Scotland have named their team for their opening Rugby World Cup clash against Japan at Kingsholm Stadium  in Gloucester on Wednesday.

South African loose forward Josh Strauss is set to make his international debut off the bench having recently qualified to represent Scotland.

Captain Greig Laidlaw will lead his men into his first Rugby World Cup outing at his club ground in Gloucester alongside fly-half Finn Russell.

Centres Matt Scott and Mark Bennett have been given the nod to get Scotland's campaign underway in midfield, with full-back Stuart Hogg and wings Sean Lamont and Tommy Seymour completing the back division.

Edinburgh prop Alasdair Dickinson will also run out in familiar surroundings, with the former Gloucesterman selected to start alongside club-mates Ross Ford (hooker) and Willem P Nel (prop).

Grant Gilchrist will partner Jonny Gray in the second-row, with Ryan Wilson, John Hardie and number eight David Denton named as the starting loose forwards.

On the bench Ryan Grant has recovered from his ankle injury to join Fraser Brown and Jon Welsh as the front-row replacements, Richie Gray and the uncapped Strauss deputise at lock and back-row, while Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne and Sean Maitland provide cover across the backs.
 
"We've prepared well for what will be a very tough Test against a powerful and fit Japanese team, who like to play a high-tempo game," said head coach Vern Cotter.
 
"They [Japan] will have taken a lot of confidence from their opening win over South Africa however that doesn't change our approach to this game or the pool.
 
"The priority for us to ensure that we get our jobs right with accuracy, and impose ourselves on the game."

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 John Hardie, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Maitland.

Date: Wednesday 23 September
Venue: Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
Kick-off: 14.30 local (13:30 GMT)

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