Ritchie claims Scotland want to play 'the fastest rugby in the world'

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie claims his side will look to play ‘the fastest rugby in the world’ against reigning World Cup champions South Africa

  • The Scotland captain issued a brave statement ahead of their opening match 
  • The 27-year-old will play in his first World Cup after missing out in 2019 to injury
  • Rugby World Cup 2023: Click here for Mail Sport’s latest coverage from France 

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie says his side will play ‘the fastest rugby in the world’ to shock rugby superpowers South Africa and Ireland and make it out of the Pool B group of death.

Ritchie said there was no fear among his players heading into their opening game against the reigning-champion Springboks in Marseille on Sunday. And he insists that they refuse to be seen as underdogs, entering this tournament ranked fifth in the world.

‘We want to play quickly, we want to play the fastest rugby in the world,’ said the Edinburgh flanker, 27. ‘We have self-belief and know that if we perform on the day we can beat everyone in this group.

‘We have done well with an underdog tag up until now but to be honest I don’t think we need it. I firmly believe if we perform to the best of our abilities we can win all the games in this group.’

After the Springboks, Scotland take on Tonga in Nice and Romania in Lille, before a titanic showdown in the final group game against Ireland at the Stade de France.

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie has spoken ahead of his side’s opening World Cup game

Ritchie believes that Scotland don’t need an ‘underdog’ tag to be successful over in France

Ritchie is appearing at his first World Cup after missing out in 2019 due to a fractured cheekbone on the eve of the tournament. And he has told his players to embrace the occasion, as playing in a World Cup is what they all used to dream about as youngsters.

‘There is definite excitement just now,’ he said. ‘These are the moments when you are a kid all of us strive towards. It is important we enjoy these moments. If you let it become fear the moment gets away from you. The most important thing is enjoying it and this World Cup has to be enjoyed.’

Winger Darcy Graham has won his fitness battle to face the Boks in one of six changes from Scotland’s win over Georgia last month.

Blair Kinghorn comes in at full-back, Pierre Schoeman, George Turner and Zander Fagerson all come into the front row and Richie Gray is back at lock.

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