SCOTLAND’S full schedule of Test matches from now until the start of the 2019 World Cup in Japan has been confirmed with news that they will play four warm-up matches against France and Georgia next summer.
Gregor Townsend’s team will play France (17 August) then Georgia (24 August) away, before returning home to play France (31 August) and Georgia (6 September) again, with both those games at BT Murrayfield.
This means Scotland will be the first Tier One nation ever to play a Test match in Georgia.
A final, 31-man Scotland squad will then travel to Nagasaki for a holding camp on the eve of RWC 2019, organised through a ‘strategic alliance’ with Nagasaki City signed in 2016, which aims to help the squad acclimatise to the local conditions and the time difference before heading into their official tournament camp.
“With 18 months to go until Rugby World Cup 2019, our planning for the tournament is well underway,” said national team head coach Gregor Townsend. “These warm-up matches against quality international opposition will give us the chance to assess fully where we are as a squad, as well as give players the opportunity to put their hands up for selection for Japan.
“Scotland’s matches against France are typically closely-contested, physical encounters. They are an excellent team who will test us in defence and attack.
“Georgia are currently placed 12th in the World Rugby Rankings and are a country on the rise. Playing against them will be a good test for us ahead of our pool matches at the Rugby World Cup.”
Georgia head coach Milton Haig welcomed the news that Scotland will be visiting the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi next August.
“History will be made as it will be the first time Scotland will have played here in Georgia and the first ever Tier One nation to play a match on Georgian home soil,” he said. “This is testament to the relationship Georgia and Scotland have forged over the last few years and the national team are extremely humbled and privileged to play such an outstanding international team in front of our families, friends and very supportive rugby fans.”
SCOTLAND FIXTURES 2018 / 19 (all times are local)
2018 Summer Tour
Saturday 9 June: Canada v Scotland; Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton (kick-off 7.10pm)
Saturday 16 June: USA v Scotland; BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston (kick-off 8pm)
Saturday 23 June: Argentina v Scotland; Estadio Centenario, Resistencia (kick-off 4.40pm)
2018 Autumn Tests
Saturday 3 November: Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium (kick-off 2.45pm)
Saturday 10 November: Scotland v Fiji, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.30pm)
Saturday 17 November: Scotland v South Africa, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 5.20pm)
Saturday 24 November: Scotland v Argentina, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.30pm)
2019 NatWest 6 Nations
Saturday 2 February: Scotland v Italy, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.15pm)
Saturday 9 February: Scotland v Ireland, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.15pm)
Saturday 23 February: France v Scotland, Stade de France (kick-off 3.15pm local time)
Saturday 9 March: Scotland v Wales, BT Murrayfield (kick-off 2.15pm)
Saturday 16 March: England v Scotland, Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 5pm)
2019 Summer Test schedule
Saturday 17 August: France v Scotland, Venue TBC (kick-off TBC)
Saturday 24 August: Georgia v Scotland, Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia (kick-off TBC)
Saturday 31 August: Scotland v France, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)
Weekend of Friday/Saturday 6/7 September: Scotland v Georgia, BT Murrayfield (kick-off TBC)