Japan v Scotland: Captain Stuart McInally dropped for Japan clash

Tommy Seymour returns on the wing for World Cup quarter-final qualification decider in place of injured Sean Maitland

Stuart McInally has been dropped to the bench for Scotland's World Cup clash against Japan.
Stuart McInally has been dropped to the bench for Scotland's World Cup clash against Japan. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
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SCOTLAND squad captain Stuart McInally has been dropped to the bench for the team’s crucial final World Cup pool match against Japan on Sunday, if it goes ahead in the aftermath Typhoon Hagibis.

Fraser Brown starts in McInally’s place at hooker, while scrum-half Greig Laidlaw will skipper the side.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made 12 personnel and one positional change from the side which beat Russia 61-0 on Wednesday, but a big turnover was always expected. There are only two personnel changes from the side which beat Samoa a week past Monday.

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The other crucial selection change is on the wing, where Tommy Seymour returns in place of Sean Maitland, who has a groin injury and is improving but not sufficiently to make the cut for this game.

Peter Horne and Blair Kinghorn come onto the bench, with Adam Hastings and Duncan Taylor dropping out of the squad which lined up against Samoa. Those are selection decisions.

“It’s taken a real squad effort from our players here in Japan to put us in a position to play for a place in the quarter-finals, having risen to the challenge of what’s effectively been knockout rugby since the second round of our Pool,” said Townsend.

“The entire group has featured in our past two Tests, both of which have been clinical and professional performances.

“It was great to see players get the opportunity to play in this World Cup on Wednesday and it looked like they enjoyed the experience.

“The effort invested in defence, support play and clearing has been encouraging and has put a lot of pressure on the opposition.

“A few players have pushed hard for selection with the form they’ve shown in training and in the last two games and it’s now down to this group of 23 men to build on this momentum and squad togetherness to deliver a winning performance against Japan.”

“The opportunity to face the hosts in such a decisive Pool match will be a unique occasion and should be a great spectacle.

“Games of this magnitude don’t come around very often in a playing career so we will be giving it everything to make sure it is a memorable match.”

Scotland (v Japan at Yokohama International Stadium on Sunday 13th October, kick-off 7.14pm Japan time, 8.15am BST): Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (CAPTAIN); Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Blade Thomson.

Replacements: Stuart McInally, Zander Fagerson, Gordon Reid, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson, George Horne, Peter Horne, Blair Kinghorn.


Japan v Scotland: Gregor Townsend bullish about game going ahead

About David Barnes 3959 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Good luck Scotland. Only problem I have with the 23 is Zander Fargason, shouldn’t be in the 31 never mind the match day 23. Complete and utter liability.

  2. not surprised that McInally was dropped he is making far to many mistakes in all aspects of his game

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