Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup 2019: Former players Andy Nicol and Peter Wright on Scotland’s tournament chances

Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup 2019: Former players Andy Nicol and Peter Wright on Scotland’s tournament chances

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Brodie Retallick Scotland won three of their four World Cup warm-up Tests

Scotland won three of their four World Cup warm-up Tests

The big question for Scotland rugby fans ahead of this World Cup is which version of Gregor Townsend’s side will we see in Japan?

Will we see the side that were on course for a record defeat at Twickenham during the Six Nations? Or the side that hit back in a glorious wave of attacking rugby to secure an unlikely draw from 31-0 down?

The warm-up internationals saw the Scots kick off with a hammering at the hands of France in Nice, but steady progression followed with three straight wins – a gutsy victory over the French at Murrayfield followed by home and away wins over Georgia.

They kick off their World Cup campaign against Ireland in Yokohama on Sunday. To analyse their chances, BBC Scotland spoke to former Scotland internationals Peter Wright and Andy Nicol.

Do Scotland have a Plan B?

Scotland’s style under Townsend is to play a fast-tempo, attacking brand of rugby. It is a style that has brought them victories over most of the leading rugby nations in recent years.

The counter to that has been a susceptibility to the power game, which has seen them come off second best in the physical stakes on many occasions, especially away from home.

AN: “I think they need a Plan B. The fast-tempo style can work and I think the firm grounds in Japan should suit it.

“It’s not just Gregor Townsend’s style, it’s the style of rugby that brings out the best in the players as well and I think it’s the right one to adopt. When it works we’ve seen it to great effect, the second half at Twickenham being the obvious example. But we have to have different way of playing because you can’t only have one game-plan and hope that it works every single time.

“This is where the forwards have a massive role to play and in particular the second-rows. Look at the impact [England’s] George Kruis, [Wales’] Alan Wyn Jone

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