Ireland Vs Scotland: Exploring Scotland Rugby World Cup training group

Posted by World Wide Tickets And Hospitality on May 13th, 2023

Gregor Townsend has nominated a 41-player training group ahead of the France Rugby World Cup 2023, and there are plenty of talking points for admirers to sink their teeth into. Coming off the back of a third-place finish in this year’s Guinness Six Nations, Scotland admirers can be hopeful about their odds when they cross the Channel to take on the world’s best with Scotland in the same group as caring winners South Africa and Grand Slam winners Ireland.

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Ireland Vs Scotland: Exploring Scotland Rugby World Cup training group
Ireland Vs Scotland: Exploring Scotland Rugby World Cup training group

Years of growth under Townsend are echoed in a group that boasts plenty of depth as well as some genuine world-class talents. As a result, the Scotland RWC 2023 head trainer will be forced to make some extremely difficult choices when he cuts the squad from 41 players to 33. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the big calls Townsend will have to make ahead of the start of the contest in Sep.

RWC 2023: Who can help from Jonny Gray’s injury woes?

Jonny Gray looks set to miss the Rugby World Cup 2023 after disrupting his knee last month. The 77-cap test’s absence is a main blow to Townsend’s hopes of leading Scotland to glory in France, but one-second row’s loss is another lock’s gain.  Scott Cummings, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Cameron Henderson and Sam Skinner are the five locks in the lengthy training group, but you have to believe that only four will be on the trip to France. 

Jonny Gray would have been all but certain a place on the plane were it not for his injury, but now Townsend’s selection at second row is right up in the air. Richie Gray returned to the global stage in dramatic style during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, while Gilchrist started all four of his side’s Autumn Nations Series games and their first three Guinness Six Nations games, so as things stand, they should make it into the 33.

Sam Skinner has also done well in fresh times and can cover the back row as well, so you have to undertake that it is a conventional shootout between Cummings and the opened Henderson for the last second-row spot in the France Rugby World Cup 33 men’s squad. Rugby fans can book Ireland RugbyWorld Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

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Clash for fly-half spot for Rugby World Cup

The possibility is that at least one of Adam Hastings, Ben Healy, Blair Kinghorn and Finn Russell will be cut when Townsend decreases his team from 41 players to 33. It is hard to imagine a world where Russell is not on the plane to France RWC, while Kinghorn deserves to be named as his understudy after two seasons of shadowing the 30-year-old maverick. That would appear to leave it as a battle among Healy, who made his entrance against Italy in the final game of the Championship.

At 23, Healy is surely a talent for the future, and the skill of a Rugby World Cup 2023 could prove crucial in the long term. However, Hastings has the sufficient global pedigree and the skillset to cause some of the best teams in the world problems, so do not be surprised to see Townsend stick with his more skilled star.

A big call at hooker for France Rugby World Cup

There are four hookers in the 41-player squad, but only three will survive the cut and make it to the RWC 2023. Ewan Ashman, Dave Cherry, Stuart McInally and George Turner are the men fighting it out for the wanted number two shirt. Turner looks certain to make it onto the plane having started all five of Scotland’s 2023 Guinness Six Nations matches but behind him, all three applicants have a case.

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McInally is a previous captain, who led the side at the last World Cup and will be bidding to bow out on a high before he stops working. Sale Sharks star Ashman is only 23, but he has enthralled when given chances off the bench for both club and country. Cherry, with eight caps, might seem like a long shot but has not been dissatisfied when given the chance and as a late bloomer, is used to proving doubters wrong.

RWC: Someone will miss out in the back row

Scotland Rugby World Cup has some absurdly talented players in the back row, but credibly only six will make it to France later this year. That means at least one of Andy Christie, Luke Crosbie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson won’t be at the 2023 world cup. As captain, Ritchie is a sure thing, while Fagerson looks likely to go having won 12 caps in the last 12 months. 

Watson’s stability in recent years should be enough to get him on the plane for France Rugby World Cup 2023, and Jack Dempsey is the faultless player to provide cover at No.8. That leaves the meaningly less experienced trio of Christie, Crosbie and Darge potentially battling for just two spots an awkwardness of riches for Townsend. Rugby fans can buy Scotland Rugby World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

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Rugby World Cup: Ireland vs Scotland

Celtic opponents Ireland and Scotland will meet at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday 7th October, in what will be the final Group match played by both teams at RWC 2023. Ireland and Scotland have met twice before at the world cup; during the pool stages of the 1991 and 2019 editions of the contest. Scotland won the 1991 encounter 24-15 at Murrayfield, whilst Ireland won the 2019 encounter 27-3 in Yokohama.

Overall, Ireland and Scotland have played each other 139 times since their first meeting in 1877. Ireland has won 68 games, whilst Scotland has won 66 games. There have also been five drawn games between the two sides.

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