Taylor And Johnson Win Centre Battle

Taylor And Johnson Win Centre Battle

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has gone with Duncan Taylor and Sam Johnson in the centres to face Ireland on Sunday.

The Scots kick-start their World Cup campaign at the International Stadium, Yokohama, against the No.1 ranked team in the world.

Scotland have been blessed with depth in the centres in recent years, with the likes of Alex Dunbar and Rory Hutchinson not even making the World Cup squad.

Saracens star Taylor and Glasgow Warriors talent Johnson have been given the nod, outside a half-back partnership of Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell.

Stuart McInally will skipper the side from hooker, while Jonny Gray and Grant Gilchrist have been given the chance to form a partnership in the second-row.

Townsend is happy with the balance of his side and feels the likes of Ali Price, Darcy Graham and Blade Thomson can impress off the bench.

“Our team has a lot of experience playing together in major games for Scotland, with a bench capable of making a difference when required.

“That cohesion, experience and leadership is very valuable in a build-up to a match of this magnitude as well as during the 80 minutes on Sunday.”

Scotland XV: Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne), Allan Dell (London Irish), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh, capt), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), John Barclay (Edinburgh), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors). Replacements: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh).

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