Rugby World Cup 2023: Team Scotland Record and Tentative Squad

Scotland has participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament’s inception in 1987.

4th place was their overall best, which they achieved in 1991. Scotland fell to England 6-9 in their semifinal in 1991, at Murrayfield when Gavin Hastings missed a penalty just in front of and close to the goal posts. Scotland was defeated by New Zealand 13–6 in the third-place playoff on October 30 in Cardiff.

Related: Scotland Schedule

Except for 2011 and 2019, they have qualified for the quarterfinals of every tournament but not the semifinals. Following many controversial refereeing decisions, Scotland lost to Australia in the quarterfinal encounter in 2015.

Ireland beat them and the tournament’s hosts Japan in the pool stages in 2019, making them the first Tier 1 team since Wales in 2007 not to advance to the quarterfinals from a pool with just two Tier 1 teams.

  • RWC debut: 23 May, 1987 v France at Lancaster Park, Christchurch
  • RWC appearances: Played 42 – Won 24 Drawn 1 Lost 17 – Points for 1,261 Points against 803 – Winning ratio 57 per cent
  • Most RWC appearances: Chris Paterson, 15
  • Most RWC tries: Gavin Hastings, 9
  • Best finish: Semi-finalists in 1991
  • Qualification for RWC 2023: Third in Pool A at RWC 2019

Most Famous Victory

The stunning 36-33 victory against Samoa in Newcastle’s St James’ Park in 2015 is the most famous one for Scotland. Greig Laidlaw’s 26 points, his highest total in a single test, helped Scotland advance to the quarterfinals against Australia in a crazy rugby match that featured seven tries.

Most Memorable Moment

With every point in their close 18-16 victory over Italy, Chris Paterson kicked Scotland into the RWC 2007 quarterfinals, continuing his then-record run of 36 straight successful goal kicks in international rugby.

Lowest Point

Scotland missed a kick by Gavin Hastings in front of the goalposts in the 1991 semifinal match against England that would have advanced them to the final. When the scores were level at 6-6, Jonathan Webb’s second penalty of the game gave England the victory. Later, Hastings said that his worst rugby mistake was the missed kick: “If I could change one thing in my career, it would be putting that kick over.”

Top Player

In his three tournament appearances, Hastings kicked much more field goals than he missed, and he held the individual record for most Rugby World Cup points until Jonny Wilkinson passed him in the quarterfinals of the RWC 2007 with 227 points from 13 games.

Top Record Breaker

Chris Paterson is the only player from Scotland to participate in four Rugby World Cups (1999–2011). His farewell test was against England in Auckland in 2011, the final of his record-breaking 15 tournament appearances.

Scotland Tentative Squad

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend named a 41-man squad at the beginning of May.


Ewan Ashman, Jamie Bhatti, Dave Cherry, Andy Christie, Luke Crosbie, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Cameron Henderson, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie (c), Pierre Schoeman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Murphy Walker, Hamish Watson


Jamie Dobie, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Ben Healy, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Stafford McDowall, Ali Price, Cameron Redpath, Finn Russell, Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Ben White

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