Scotland name Greig Laidlaw captain for Japan clash

Greig Laidlaw starts at scrum-half
Greig Laidlaw starts at scrum-half

Greig Laidlaw has been named Scotland's captain in their must-win encounter against Japan to be played in Yokohama this Sunday.

Scotland are positioned third in Pool A and will need a win against the Brave Blossoms in the final game of the opening round apart from denying them a bonus-point if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.

With Typhoon Hagibis expected to create havoc in the country, World Rugby has confirmed that they will wait until Sunday morning to take a call on the game after reviewing the conditions and a cancelled game will end Scotland's chances in the tournament unless Samoa get an unlikely win over Ireland.

Laidlaw is slotted at fly-half and will partner with Finn Russell with the duo set to surpass the record of Roy Laidlaw and John Rutherford, who made 35 starts together at half-back. Tommy Seymour and Darcy Graham have retained their position at wings and is joined by Stuart Hogg at fullback.

Sam Johnson and Chris Harris form a new centre partnership while Allan Dell, Fraser Brown and Willem Nel are at front-row with Grant Gilchrist and Jonny Gray at second row.

“The opportunity to face the hosts in such a decisive Pool match will be a unique occasion and should be a great spectacle," said head coach Gregor Townsend.

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

Reserves: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Blair Kinghorn

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