Pool C- Scotland
Scotland will do well to reach the quarter final where they are likely to meet France, Ireland or Argentina. Like Wales, Scotland has a good first team, but not much in reserve. They try to play a fast open game, but some of the bigger teams will strangle Scotland of any ball.
Scotland have an adequate scrum. They are weak up front but have a good loose forward pair that work well as a unit. They lack world class players that can inflict damage on a team. Scotland lack creativity in the back line and the midfield pairing of Henderson and Di Rollo is between the club and international level – not good enough to compete with the top World Cup teams. Lamont is strong on the wing and Patterson is good out half, but Scotland don't have any game breakers as such.
Italy have beaten Scotland already this year and may do so again in Pool C.
Coach: Frank Hadden (Scotland)
Captain: Jason White
IRB Ranking: 10
Appearances: 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003
Odds to win: 200/1
Number of clubs: 242
Number of Registered players: 24,905
Matches MT W D L
24 13 1 10
Points For Against
Scores Tr Con Pen DG
94 66 64 6
A charismatic player and a good captian for Scotland, White is as good a number six as any in the World Cup. A ferocious tackler who will nail anyone at the fringe of rucks and mauls. Sustaining aggressive defence over 40 or 50 tackles may be problematic as he has just returned from a career threatening knee injury. Also good line out option at 6'5”.
Scotland's most capped player can play well in a number of positions. He is most comfortable at full back where he can counter attack without much support. He plays well on the wing, is a goal kicker, and is likely to take up the berth of out half, a pivotal position where he must control Scotland's game. Doesn't hold a tackle particularly well although he is brave.
Since the 1995 World Cup when Jona Lomu single handedly dismantled defences, all teams have tried to fill one wing with a strong physical player who can get across the gain line. Scotland has found this Lomuesque physicality to a certain degree in Lamont. But again, Lamont's success as a winger will depend on the possession Scotland's forwards can secure against Italy and New Zealand.
Rugby in Scotland
Students who came to school in Edinburgh in the 1850s brought with them the rules and knowledge of rugby as played in England. A team of Scotch players challenged and beat England by a goal and a try in the first international rugby union match, played in Edinburgh in 1871. Seven a side rugby was first played at Melrose in 1883 and the world's first purpose built rugby ground was opened at Inverleith, near Edinburgh in 1899. Grand Slam winners on three occasions, the Scots have also won the Triple Crown seven times.