Finn Russell Rugby World Cup 2019: Gregor Townsend makes 14 changes to Scotland side for clash with Russia

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Gregor Townsend has backed Scotland’s second string to take care of Russia after deciding to hold the majority of his stars in reserve for Sunday’s do-or-die showdown with Japan.

The Dark Blues head coach has made 14 changes to his line-up ahead of Wednesday’s vital World Cup clash with the Russians in Shizuoka.

Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham is only man to keep his place from last week’s 34-0 hammering of Samoa as Townsend keeps one eye on their final Pool A clash with the hosts, which is set to decide who progresses to the quarter-finals.

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With the Scots needing to take all five points on offer against the Bears before beating Japan at the weekend, while also ensuring the Brave Blossoms do not outscore them on the bonus point front, the Dark Blues head coach has opted to make full use of his 31-man squad.

His 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.

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