Scotland v Romania: Rugby World Cup 2023 – live

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Javan Sebastian is in for the match today, and he wants to seize his chance.

I’m expecting a procession from Scotland here, but you may think different. Or you may have a view on what specific type of procession Scotland need to prepare them for Ireland next. Send these and all reflections to my Email if you feel motivated.

Teams

It speaks much to the nature of the opposition that Gregor Townsend has made thirteen changes to the starting XV, with only Kyle Steyn and Chris Harris keeping their shirts from the Tonga win. Grant Gilchrist will captain the side as Jamie Ritchie sits this one out following a head knock last week.

Not to be too far outdone, Romania make ten changes of their own, including Taliauli Sikuea making his World Cup debut on the wing.

Scotland: 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Kyle Steyn, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Grant Gilchrist (c), 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Javan Sebastian, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Jamie Bhatti

Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 WP Nel, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Rory Darge, 21 George Horne, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Huw Jones

Romania: 15 Marius Simionescu, 14 Sioeli Lama, 13 Jason Tomane, 12 Fonovai Tangimana, 11 Taliauli Sikuea, 10 Alin Conache, 9 Gabriel Rupanu, 8 Cristian Chirica (c), 7 Dragos Ser, 6 Florian Rosu, 5 Stefan Iancu, 4 Adrian Motoc, 3 Gheorghe Gajion, 2 Robert Irimescu, 1 Alexandru Savin

Replacements: 16 Florin Bardasu, 17 Iulian Hartig, 18 Costel Burtila, 19 Marius Iftimiciuc, 20 Damian Stratila, 21 Florin Surugiu, 22 Tudor Boldor, 23 Nicholas Onutu

Preamble

The knife fight of the top three sides in Pool B has a couple of side skirmishes this weekend, the first being this evening kick-off between Scotland and Romania, with South Africa taking on Tonga tomorrow.

Scotland have a simple ask ahead of them to get of of this pool: a bonus point win over The Oaks today, then vanquishing end-level boss Ireland next week by seven points.

While simple does not necessarily mean easy, it certainly does when it comes to Romania who have been absolutely panelled in their two matches so far. It’s difficult to foresee a different outcome here, leaving Scotland to focus on the big test to come.

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