When the World Cup rolls around in September, the Scotland national team hopes to be fit to deliver a real bid to win the 2015 RWC. And they will have to come out on top in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Group Stage against Pool B competition from South Africa, Samoa, Japan, and USA.
Manager Vern Cotter has brought in Scottish muscle for his side hoping to shape Scotland into a squad well able to pleasantly surprise Scotland fans and supporters in their attempt to bring glory to Scotland.
Cotter’s training squad includes a ‘long list’ of 46 dedicated players who will intensely prepare to earn a spot on the first team with the lofty aim of the Scotland national team winning the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup. Training includes a time in the French Alps followed by two months in Scotland in the longest continuous training period Cotter has ever lined up for his men.
Included in the training squad is 28 year old John Barclay, the Scarlets Management Player of the Season, back for the first time since 2013, and brilliant Finn Russell. He will compete with Blair Cowan for a top spot at his third World Cup. Scotland fans welcome the inclusion of Josh Strauss, WP Nel, Mike Cusack, Chris Cusiter, and Jim Hamilton.
Alex Dunbar, Matt Scott, and Mark Bennett all have suffered injuries.
Impressive Richie Vernon returns as a versatile centre along with Saracens’ Duncan Taylor.
Guinness PRO12 winners Glasgow provide 22 of the 46 training places. Before the squad is trimmed to a final 31 for the tournament there will surely be changes made, and the exact makeup of the final group is hard to guess.
Led by Captain Greig Laidlaw, currently Scotland compete in the Rugby Union World Cup and Annual Six Nations Championship. Scotland are tenth in the World Rugby Rankings.
Scotland's best RWC finish came in 1991, where they lost to the New Zealand All Blacks in the third place play-off.
The Springboks from South Africa made their Rugby Union World Cup debut in 1995, when newly democratic South Africa hosted the world-class rugby event. The Springboks defeated the New Zealand All Blacks 15–12 in the final to win the tournament in one of the greatest moments in South Africa's entire sporting history. South Africa regained their title as champions 12 years later, when they defeated England 15–6 in the 2007 final. As a result of the 2007 World Cup tournament the Springboks were promoted to first place in the IRB World Rankings – they are currently ranked 2nd in the world.
The Springboks compete in the annual Rugby Championship, with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. South Africa have won this championship 3 times in 16 years.
Springboks Captain is Jean de Villiers, and Heyneke Meyer is manager.