After a successful Five Nations championship, the Scottish team is in a positive frame of mind as the RUGBY WORLD CUP approaches. So bring on the

Springboks. Words: Lorin McDougall Photograph: Gordon Fraser/SRU

Try and try ain

WORLD CUP SUCCESS HAS PROVED ELUSIVE for Scotland‘s footballers and cricketers. but over the next month. the national rugby team intends to show them how it‘s done. As reigning Five Nations champions. progress beyond Round One is expected rather than hoped for. Scotland were quarter-finalists in 1987 and again four years ago. and believe

that home advantage will help them to better

their highest ever placing. fourth in 199]. Spain and Uruguay should present few problems. but Jim Telfer's side must beat

holders South Africa in their opening match if

they are to top Group A and claim an automatic quarter-final berth. Having twice been thrashed by the Springboks in recent Murrayfield encounters. the signs are not good. The gap has narrowed since last year. however. and that stunning April performance in Paris showed Scotland's vast potential.

The I999 Rugby World Cup is a live-week event hosted by‘Britain and France. featuring twenty teams striving to reach the final in Cardiff on 6 November. Eight games will be played in Scotland. with Murrayfield. Hampden and Galashiels as the venues.

While the heart says Scotland can go all the way. cold logic'points to a Southern Hemisphere victory. The big three New Zealand. Australia and South Africa already have their names on the William Webb Ellis trophy. and the smart money is on the All Blacks emulating their win in the inaugural tournament twelve years ago. Such is their strength in depth that the mighty Jonah Lomu is now a mere bit player.

‘New Zealand were worthy winners of the Tri-Nations series this summer.‘ suggests Scotland’s flying full-back Glenn Metcalfe. ‘Apart from their defeat against Australia. they looked the finished article.‘

Despite this. Metcalfe. a former Kiwi born 28 years ago in Auckland. feels the event is wide open. ‘lt's fantastic that so many teams have a realistic chance of doing well. more so

than in previous years. You‘ve got England. and you can never rule out France. Wales have really come onto their game and we‘re coming together as a very. very good squad.

‘We‘ll be firing on all cylinders South Africa is almost like a final for us. playing the World Champions in our first game. It's not easy to play flowing rugby. but we‘re aiming


0 Scotland pick upthe ball and head for the line

to take them on one-to-fifteen in all positions. You don‘t know what will happen in the quarter-finals or the play-offs. but in the last three World Cups. the home nation has reached the final.‘

Scotland play South Africa at Murrayfield. Edinburgh, Sun 3 Oct, 4pm.

The Fixtures

The 1999 World Cup runs from Fri 1 Oct-Sat 6 Nov. Eight games will be played in Scotland, and up-to-date ticket information is available from the SRU Ticket Office on 0131 346 5000. Below are details of all first round matches to be played in Scotland as well as the fixtures for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Scottish Television will broadcast 24 live games on terrestrial TV, with all

matches shown on digital channel ITV2. Eurosport will broadcast 27 live games.

Wales v Argentina Cardiff, Fri 1 Oct, 2pm

Spain v Uruguay Galashiels, Sat 2 Oct,


England v Italy Twickenham, Sat 2 Oct, 4pm

Ireland v USA Dublin, Sat 2 Oct, 6pm

Scotland v South Africa Murrayfield, Sun 3 Oct, 4pm

Scotland v Uruguay Murrayfield, Fri 8 Oct, 3pm

Wales v Japan Cardiff, Sat 9 Oct, 1.30pm

England v New Zealand Twickenham, Sat 9 Oct, 3.30pm

Ireland vAustralia Dublin, Sun 10 Oct, 2pm

South Africa v Spain Murrayfreld, Sun 10 Oct, 4pm

Wales v Samoa Cardiff, Thu 14 Oct, 2pm

England v Tonga Twrckenham, Fri 15 Oct, noon

South Africa v Uruguay Hampden, Fri 15 Oct, 4pm

Ireland v Romania Dublin, Fri 15 Oct, 6pm

Scotland v Spain Murrayfield, Sat 16 Oct, 2pm

Play-offs, quarter finals and semi finals will take place from Wed 20 Oct with the final scheduled for Sat 6 Nov in Cardiff.

23 Sep—7 Oct 1999 THE LIST 115