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Scotland make 14 changes for World Cup clash with Russia

Darcy Graham is the only man to keep his place from last week's 34-0 hammering of Samoa.

Darcy Graham: Keeps his place in the starting team.
Darcy Graham: Keeps his place in the starting team. SNS Group

Gregor Townsend has made 14 changes to his Scotland line-up ahead of Wednesday's crucial World Cup clash with Russia in Shizuoka.

Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham is the only man to keep his place from last week's 34-0 hammering of Samoa as Townsend looks to keep his top stars fresh for Sunday's do-or-die final Pool A showdown with Japan.

With the Scots needing to take all five points on offer against the Bears before beating the hosts at the weekend, while also ensuring the Brave Blossoms do not outscore them on the bonus point front, the Dark Blues head coach has decided to take no chances by asking too many of his players to turn out twice in the space of four days.

Townsend's selection means full-back Blair Kinghorn, centre Pete Horne, lock Ben Toolis and hooker George Turner will all get a taste of World Cup action, while scrum-half Henry Pyrgos - a late replacement call-up for the injured Ali Price - will do the same if he gets off the bench.

The head coach said: "First and foremost we've picked a team we believe is capable of defeating an increasingly impressive and combative Russia side, who are looking to finish their pool campaign on a high.

"A number of our players are getting their first start or Test in this tournament and have been itching to play their part in this World Cup, by helping the team deliver a winning performance on Wednesday."

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