Duhan van der Merwe

South Africa-born Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe celebrated the start of 2024 in Cape Town with his wife. Photo: AFP.

Scotland pick three South Africans to front the Springboks

Three homegrown South African players will lineup up for Scotland against the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday.

Duhan van der Merwe

South Africa-born Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe celebrated the start of 2024 in Cape Town with his wife. Photo: AFP.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his squad for Scotland’s opening fixture at Rugby World Cup 2023 against the Springboks in Marseille on Sunday. 

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South African-born and raised trio Duhan van der Merwe, Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel have all been selected in the match 23, with van der Merwe and Schoeman earning starting berth and Nel playing off the bench.

Captain Jamie Ritchie leads his country in their Pool B clash with defending champions and joined in the back row by Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey at number 8.

Richie Gray and Grant Gilchrist, both of whom will be appearing at a third Rugby World Cup, combine in the second row.

George Turner gets the nod at hooker, packing down with Schoeman (loosehead prop) and Zander Fagerson (tighthead).

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In the back division, Finn Russell – also primed for a third such tournament – links up with scrumhalf Ben White, with centres Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones continuing their partnership for the Springbok showdown.

Prolific wingers Van der Merwe and Darcy Graham are joined in the back three by full back Blair Kinghorn.

Scotland’s forward replacements comprise hooker Dave Cherry, props Jamie Bhatti and Nel (the latter another set to appear at a trio of Rugby World Cups), as well as the versatile Scott Cummings and Matt Fagerson.

Scrumhalf Ali Price, centre Cameron Redpath and full back Ollie Smith complete Townsend’s 23-player selection.

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Scotland Springboks
The Scotland team to face the Springboks. Photo: @RugbyWorld / X.