Scotland announce four warm-up Tests in preparation for 2023 Rugby World Cup

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend believes Test matches home and away to France this summer will provide "invaluable experience" in preparation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Scotland will prepare for the tournament in France by playing four Test matches, three of them at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh. Starting with a home fixture against Italy on Saturday, July 29, Scotland will then welcome France a week later before travelling to face the Rugby World Cup hosts on Saturday 12 August at a venue to be confirmed. After a week’s break, Scotland will complete their summer programme against Georgia at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, August 26. Kick-off times for all games have still to be confirmed and Scottish Rugby said ticket information for the matches will be made available over the next few months.

The Rugby World Cup 2023 will take place between September 8 and October 28 next year in France, with Scotland drawn in Pool B alongside defending world champions South Africa, Ireland, Tonga and Romania.

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Head coach Gregor Townsend said: “All four fixtures will provide invaluable experiences in our preparation for the tournament. Having the opportunity to play at home on three occasions before we depart will enable our players to feel the backing of our supporters ahead of setting off for the World Cup.

Scotland take on France twice, once at BT Murrayfield, as part of their World Cup preparations.

“The match against France away from home will be very important as we are going to spend time at our training base for the World Cup in Nice prior to the match and replicate the schedule our players will experience during the tournament itself.”

Meanwhile, AB Zondagh has left his role as Scotland assistant attack coach. Scottish Rugby posted a tweet on Monday announcing that the 36-year-old South African had departed "for family reasons and to pursue opportunities".

Zondagh joined Townsend's coaching staff from Toulouse in August 2021 after Mike Blair vacated his position as attack coach to take charge of Edinburgh.

It has been widely reported that Zondagh is set to take on a new coaching role with French Top 14 club Lyon. It remains to be seen if Scotland will appoint a replacement ahead of the Six Nations.