Rugby World Cup 2019: Stuart McInally named Scotland captain

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says the calming influence of Stuart McInally will bring the best out of other players in the team at the World Cup in Japan, after naming the Edinburgh hooker as the captain of their 31-man squad.

The 29-year-old, who has 29 caps for his country, was chosen ahead of the experienced John Barclay and Greig Laidlaw for the tournament, which kicks off later this month.

"Stuart has done a really good job in the opportunities he's had to captain Scotland," said Townsend, who named 13 players with previous World Cup experience.

"He captained Edinburgh last season and is a real lead-by-example player, both in training and in games. He's a calming influence and is very good at bringing the best out of others.

"We have a number of leaders in our squad and it was great to see them work well together out in Georgia last week."

Barclay, the most experienced player of the group with 74 caps, will be preparing for a third World Cup campaign, after featuring in 2007 and 2011.

He is among 10 Edinburgh players in the squad, while Glasgow Warriors contributed the most, with 12.

Centres Huw Jones and Rory Hutchinson missed out, along with forwards Josh Strauss, Matt Fagerson and Magnus Bradbury.

"There were a number of tough calls, given the quality of our wider training squad, and on the close decisions, we've looked to select players that have strong defensive attributes and are willing to outwork their opposite number," Townsend said.

"Some very good players have missed out on selection this time, but they know they'll have to keep working hard, because in a World Cup, an opportunity can come around quickly."

Quarter-finalists in 2015, Scotland kick off their campaign in Pool A against Ireland on September 22, before matches against Samoa, Russia and hosts Japan.

Scotland World Cup squad: 


Forwards: John Barclay, Simon Berghan, Fraser Brown, Scott Cummings, Allan Dell, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Stuart McInally (capt), WP Nel, Gordon Reid, Jamie Ritchie, Blade Thomson, Ben Toolis, George Turner, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson.

Backs: Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Peter Horne, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor.


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