October 11, 2019 / 9:12 AM / 2 months ago

Scotland coach Townsend rings changes for Japan showdown

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool A - Scotland v Russia - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka, Japan - October 9, 2019 Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

TOKYO (Reuters) - Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has made 12 changes to the side for their do-or-die World Cup Pool A clash against hosts Japan in Yokohama on Sunday.

A largely second-string Scotland ran in nine tries on the way to a 61-0 win over Russia on Wednesday, giving them an opportunity to advance to the quarter-final with a win over Japan.

There is still an element of doubt that the match will go ahead due to Typhoon Hagibis, which has already forced the cancellation of Saturday’s games between England and France in Yokohama and New Zealand v Italy in Toyota City.

Wingers Darcy Graham and Tommy Seymour have been retained from the starting side that beat Russia, while Fraser Brown, who played openside flanker against the Bears, has shifted back to hooker.

Scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw will lead the team with Stuart McInally on the bench.

Team: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Tommy Seymour, 13-Chris Harris, 12-Sam Johnson, 11-Darcy Graham, 10-Finn Russell, 9-Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8-Blade Thomson, 7-Jamie Ritchie, 6-Magnus Bradbury, 5-Jonny Gray, 4-Grant Gilchrist, 3-Willem Nel, 2-Fraser Brown, 1-Allan Dell

Replacements: 16-Stuart McInally, 17-Gordon Reid, 18-Zander Fagerson, 19-Scott Cummings, 20-Ryan Wilson, 21-George Horne,

22-Peter Horne, 23-Blair Kinghorn

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Toyota City; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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