Rugby World Cup: Scotland announce warm-up games against Italy, France and Georgia

Adam Kyriacou
Finn Russell for Scotland

Scotland have confirmed their Rugby World Cup warm-up games as they take on Italy, France (twice) and Georgia over July and August.

Head coach Gregor Townsend believes the internationals will offer “invaluable experience” in preparation for the 2023 showpiece that takes place in France.

Scotland will kick off their warm-up schedule with a home game against Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday, July 29, before they meet Les Bleus one week later.

Four warm-up matches

Townsend’s charges then travel to face the Rugby World Cup hosts on Saturday, August 12, at an as-yet unconfirmed venue before they return to Murrayfield on Saturday, August 26 to tackle Georgia, who will no doubt be keen to claim another Tier One scalp. Kick-off times for all the Tests are also still to be confirmed.

“2023 is a huge year for our national team, and after the Guinness Six Nations our focus will quickly turn to the Rugby World Cup,” said head coach Townsend.

“All four fixtures will provide invaluable experiences in our preparation for the tournament.

“Having the opportunity to play at home on three occasions before we depart will enable our players to feel the backing of our supporters ahead of setting off for the World Cup.

“The match against France away from home will be very important as we are going to spend time at our training base for the World Cup in Nice prior to the match and replicate the schedule our players will experience during the tournament itself.”

Scotland are in Pool B of the 2023 Rugby World Cup alongside reigning champions South Africa, the world’s top-ranked side Ireland, Tonga and Romania.

The Scots failed to make it out of the pool stage of the 2019 tournament in Japan as the excellent Brave Blossoms and Ireland progressed at their expense.

Blow to coaching team

The announcement of these games comes on the back of Monday’s confirmation that assistant attack coach AB Zondagh has left his position in their set-up.

The South African departs less than one month before the Six Nations kicks off, with Scotland opening their campaign with an away fixture against England.

A tweet posted by Scottish Rugby confirmed that the 36-year-old coach had moved on from his position due to “family reasons and to pursue opportunities”.

Zondagh, who joined Scotland’s senior coaching team in August 2021 in place of Mike Blair after the latter took over at Edinburgh, has been linked with Lyon.

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