Strauss to debut for Scotland

Josh Strauss has been included in Scotland's match 23 for their World Cup opener against Japan at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester on Wednesday.

Strauss became eligible for Scotland on 19 September via the three-year residency rule and will make his international debut if used off the bench.

Compatriot and Scottish teammate WP Nel will start at tighthead prop to extend his Test tally to four matches. Alasdair Dickinson will start on the loosehead side, with Ross Ford at hooker.

Grant Gilchrist will partner Jonny Gray in the second row, with Ryan Wilson, John Hardie and eighthman David Denton named as the starting loose trio.

Scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw will lead the team on his home ground, with Finn Russell on his outside at flyhalf.

Centres Matt Scott and Mark Bennett have been given the nod in midfield, while fullback Stuart Hogg and wings Sean Lamont and Tommy Seymour complete the back division.

The bench sees a five-three split in favour of the forwards, with Strauss, Ryan Grant, Fraser Brown, Jon Welsh and Richie Gray providing cover. Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne and Sean Maitland are the extra backs.

'We've prepared well for what will be a very tough Test against a powerful and fit Japanese team,' said coach Vern Cotter. 'Japan will have taken a lot of confidence from their opening win over South Africa, however that doesn't change our approach to this game or the pool.'

Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 John Hardie, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Subs: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Maitland.

Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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