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Gregor Townsend has named his starting Scotland XV for the Rugby World Cup opener in Yokohama on Sunday morning.

Duncan Taylor and Sam Johnson will start together for only the second time at centre in a Scotland XV opposite Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose.

Ryan Wilson is preferred to Blade Thomson at number eight, while Greig Laidlaw's experience gets him the nod ahead of Ali Price at scrum-half.

Stuart Hogg will be flanked by Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour in a dangerous-looking back three.

Hooker Stuart McInally will captain Gregor Townsend's side, where 12 of the team from the Six Nations game again start against Joe Schmidt's side.

Productive

Speaking after announcing his starting Scotland XV Gregor Townsend, said: “We’ve had a really productive week’s preparation in Nagasaki ahead of our arrival in Tokyo, with our players adapting to the time zone and weather conditions out here in Japan.

“As we’ve got closer to the game our training has been more about fine-tuning the hard work that’s gone in over pre-season into a focus for Sunday’s game.

“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 squad to play Ireland, International Stadium, Yokohama in the Rugby World Cup

1. Allan Dell (London Irish) – 25 caps

2. Stuart McInally CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 29 caps

3. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 31 caps

4. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 36 caps

5. Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 52 caps

6. John Barclay VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 74 caps

7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 27 caps.

8. Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 45 caps.

9. Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 73 caps.

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 46 caps.

11. Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 42 caps.

12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 6 caps.

13. Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 23 caps.

14. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 52 caps.

15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) – 69 caps.

Finishers

16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 42 caps
17. Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls) – 37 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
20. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 2 caps
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 27 caps
22. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 10 caps
23. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 7 caps

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2019 Rugby World Cup Gregor Townsend Ireland Joe Schmidt Pool A Rugby World Cup Scotland

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