Townsend welcomes Rugby World Cup schedule

Head Coach Gregor Townsend today welcomed the announcement of Scotland’s Rugby World Cup 2019 schedule, which sees the national team open their Pool A account against Ireland and close it against hosts Japan at the iconic Yokohama Stadium on Sunday 22 September and Sunday 13 October respectively.

Between those rounds Scotland will face the Play-Off Winner on Monday 30 September at the Kobe Misaki Stadium (kick-off 7.15pm) followed by Europe 1 on Wednesday 9 October at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa (kick-off 4.15pm).

Townsend said: “Obviously there’s a lot of excitement that comes with knowing who you’re playing, when and at what venues.

"We’ll face a real challenge in all of our games, starting with Ireland who are currently ranked fourth in the World Rugby Rankings.

“Facing Ireland in the opening round really focusses the mind on just how big a challenge this tournament is going to be, on top of the prospect of facing the hosts, who had a brilliant World Cup in 2015."

Townsend will travel to Japan next month to continue the logistical planning and preparations for the tournament, which will include the strategic alliance with the Japanese City of Nagasaki, who will host a holding camp for the national team’s world cup squad in 2019 on the eve of the tournament.

It will enable the squad to acclimatise to Japanese conditions and the time differences before heading into their official tournament camp.

He added: “The tournament is very much on the horizon for our players and staff. The important thing will be to continue building and improving over the next two years.”