Rugby World Cup news: Scotland & Edinburgh star fit for opener as experts make South Africa prediction

The 2023 Rugby World Cup kicks off in Paris tomorrow night while Gregor Townsend’s Scotland begin their tournament against the defending champions on Sunday.
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The long wait is almost over and the 2023 Rugby World Cup is set to kick off tomorrow night at the Stade de France in Paris.

Host nations France take on three time winners New Zealand in a mouthwatering opener between two of the pre-tournament favourites while Scotland begin their campaign on Sunday against defending champions South Africa. Ahead of the competition getting underway and the Scots facing the Springboks in Nice, here are some of the day’s biggest headlines on Thursday, September 7:

Scotland and Edinburgh star passes fitness test ahead of South Africa opener

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Per our sister title The Scotsman, Darcy Graham has been declared fit for Scotland’s Rugby World Cup opener against South Africa after coming through training this week unscathed. The 26-year old Edinburgh winger, who has scored 95 points in 35 caps for his country, missed the final warm-up game against Georgia with a thigh injury and was unable to train with the team last week.

With seven tries in his last four Test matches, Graham is vital cog in Scotland’s backline and assistant coach John Dalziel said he would now be considered for selection to face the Springboks in Marseille on Sunday.

Rugby World experts predict losing start for Scotland

Scotland will be the underdogs against South Africa on Sunday and the writers at Rugby World, the world’s top-selling rugby magazine, are not predicting an upset from Gregor Townsend’s side. Editor Alan Dymock and reporter Josh Graham are both tipping the Boks’ to come out on top.

Dymock, predicting a 12 point winning margin for the defending champions, wrote: “There’s no getting away from power up-front. The Boks clearly think that will give them a strong enough platform to give not one but two jinky wee fliers in Cheslin Kolbe and Kurt-Lee Arendse the run of the park.”

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Graham, who tips South Africa to win by eight points, wrote: “It’s a colossal match-up and arguably the game of the round. But with that bulldozing of the All Blacks at Twickenham under their belt, the Springboks should squeeze out a resurgent Scotland in Marseille.”

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