- 13 changes as Scots look for bonus point win
- Trust put in shadow squad as top stars rested for Ireland
- Gilchrist to captain the side
Scotland’s head coach Gregor Townsend has made a sweeping 13 changes to the starting XV ahead of the vital Rugby World Cup Pool B clash with Romania.
Only Harris and Steyn stay in team as Townsend rests stars ahead of Ireland match
The only two players retaining their positions from the previous match against Tonga are backs Chris Harris and Kyle Steyn. Among the notable inclusions are stand-off Ben Healy, alongside back-rowers Hamish Watson and Luke Crosbie, all making their tournament debuts. Javan Sebastian, the prop from New Edinburgh, will also feature in the starting lineup for the first time, having previously made six appearances as a substitute.
Edinburgh’s lock Grant Gilchrist will step into the captaincy role, taking over from teammate Jamie Ritchie, who is currently undergoing concussion protocols. Additionally, uncapped Glasgow hooker Johnny Matthews, who was called up last week, will have the opportunity to make his tournament debut from the bench.
Noteworthy omissions from the 23-man squad include key figures like Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Richie Gray, Jack Dempsey, and Zander Fagerson, in a strategic move to rest established players ahead of the pivotal showdown with Ireland.
The selection of Blair Kinghorn, Huw Jones, and Rory Darge on the bench underlines the depth of talent at Scotland’s disposal.
The upcoming clash against Romania is a must-win for Scotland, who need to secure a bonus point to keep their quarter-final hopes alive. A bonus point victory would set the stage for a crucial face-off with Ireland in Paris on October 7, where their fate in the tournament hangs in the balance.
The changes in the lineup signal a shift in strategy for Scotland, emphasising the importance of the upcoming fixture against Romania, and the potential significance of the subsequent match against Ireland. All eyes will be on the new-look team as they seek to deliver a decisive performance on the field.
Scotland have to find the balance between resting players for the Ireland match and ensuring that they have a strong enough team to get a bonus point win over Romania. Bettors need to analyse the line-up and the quality of the Romania team when making their picks. Obviously Scotland are still overwhelming favourites, however, some bettors may choose to be a little more conservative with handicap betting and score predictions.