Scotland kick-off their tournament campaign next Wednesday's against Japan in Gloucester. Will the Japanese cause another unbelievable upset? This article contains our SCOTLAND v JAPAN betting preview with tips, predictions, enhanced odds, starting XVs, bookie bonuses and no deposit free bets on the match!
SCOTLAND v JAPAN BETTING PREVIEW Scotland had a very disappointing Six Nations campaign earlier this year, losing all their matches and "winning" the wooden spoon. They are one place behind Japan in the official world rankings at the moment and they have won just two of their last nine international matches played. Anyway, their their warm-up matches were more brilliant wit two wins over Italy – including a 41 point thrashing at Murrayfield – and a narrow 3-point loss to France.
Stuart Hogg will return from injury while Grant Gilchrist partners Jonny Gray behind the all-Edinburgh front row of Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and Willem Nel. Richie Gray kept out of the starting XV by his brother once again. Josh Strauss, who recently gained eligibility under the residency rules, will start on the bench as David Denton hangs on to the No. 8 shirt.
Japan beat South Africa 34-32 in their World Cup Pool B match at Brighton, after Karne Hesketh scored a last-gasp try. It was the biggest upset in the history of world rugby as Japan started as 44 point underdogs on the handicap betting but were never distanced, trailing 12-10 at half time and refusing to read the script in the second period. In the recent Pacific Nations Cup, the Japanese team started with a success over Canada (20-6) before losing to USA (23-18), Fiji (27-22) and Tonga (31-20). Then, they were defeated 45-20 by a World XV in Tokyo and recorded two comfortable wins over Uruguay and Georgia.
With just four days to recover from their match with South Africa, Japan coach Eddie Jones has made six changes for this encounter. In the back line, Kenki Fukuora gets a start on the wing while Yu Tamura will partner Male Sa'u in the centres. Amanaki Mafi has earned himself a start at No. 8, while props Keita Inagaki and Hiroshi Yamashita come in and Hitoshi Ono makes way for Justin Ives in the second row.
Scotland have never lost to the Japanese running up an aggregate 220-45 scoreline since their first meeting at the 1991 World Cup. Their last meeting in 2013 saw Weir run in one of six tries as the Scots dished out a 42-17 drubbing. Japan became the first non Tier One nation to beat South Africa in a Test match last weekend, and only the fourth side at all to beat them at the Rugby World Cup
SCOTLAND v JAPAN STARTING XVs
Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Male Sau, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Justin Ives, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kazu, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Shoji Ito, 21 Hendrik Tui, 22 Atsushi Hiwasa, 23 Karne Hesketh
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 John Hardie, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Maitland
SCOTLAND v JAPAN BEST ODDS
|SCOTLAND|| 4.00 with||Bet £10, win £40.00|
|THE DRAW|| 41.00 with||Bet £10, win £41.00|
|JAPAN||6.50 with||Bet £10, win £65.00|
SCOTLAND v JAPAN PREDICTIONS
- Winner: Scotland @ 4.00
- Winning margin: Scotland 6-10 point @ 8.00
- Half Time/Full Time: Japan/Scotland @ 9.00
- Total Tries: Over 5.5 @ 1.83
SCOTLAND v JAPAN FREE BETS & PROMOTIONS €/£5 no deposit bonus (claim through live chat)
Enhanced odds - 3/1 Scotland to beat Japan (risk-free)!
Money back if New Zealand fail to make the final
Improved sign-up bonus: 100% matched bet up to £50!
New welcome bonus: £50 free matched bet (Promo code F50)
Bet £5 and get £20 + £5 free every week
New bookmaker: up to £50 bonus for new customers!
£200 in free bets for new customers!
Get a £30 risk-free bet at Betbright!
Bet £10, get £20 free (Promo code: F20)
Treble odds on your first bet
Crazy bonus: £200 in free bets for new customers
New 400% bonus: bet £20, get £80 free bets!
300% bonus: bet £10, get £30
€5 no deposit + £100 welcome bonus (UK customers not accepted yet)!
€/$/£5 no deposit free bet (UK customers not accepted)
€/$/£5 free bet no deposit needed (UK players not accepted)
Open a new account and claim a €/£5 no deposit free bet through live chat