McInally captains Scotland with Edinburgh feel to the pack

Paul Eddison
14 August 2019

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Edinburgh will have seven players in the Scotland pack for Saturday’s opening Rugby World Cup warm-up clash with France in Nice.

Hooker Stuart McInally captains the side and will pack down alongside new recruit Jamie Bhatti, who has come across from Glasgow Warriors, and Simon Berghan.

The second row is also all-Edinburgh, Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist given the nod, while John Barclay and Jamie Ritchie start on the flanks either side of Josh Strauss, the only forward not based in the capital.

While Edinburgh dominate the forwards, the backline is a different matter with an all-Glasgow Warriors half-back pairing of Ali Price and Adam Hastings, as well as fellow Warrior Huw Jones in the centres.

Darcy Graham is the sole Edinburgh back in the starting XV, although Blair Kinghorn is on the bench.

Scott Cummings, the Glasgow Warriors lock, is also among the replacements and could be set for his debut in the encounter.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said: “A huge amount of work has gone in throughout the past two months in order to deliver our best level of performance in the Rugby World Cup.

“These four Tests are a vital part of that process in terms of testing our systems and combinations but also in seeing which players put their best foot forward when it comes to selection for the final 31-man group going to Japan next month.”

Scotland team to play France at the Allianz Riviera, Saturday 17 August (kick-off 8pm BST, 9pm local time)

15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs)
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh)
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors)
12. Duncan Taylor (Saracens)
11. Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks)
10. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors)
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)

1. Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh)
2. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – captain
3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh)
4. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh)
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh)
6. John Barclay (Edinburgh)
7. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)
8. Josh Strauss (Blue Bulls)

Replacements
16. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls)
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors)
20. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors)
22. Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
23. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)

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