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Scotland lock in Tests against new Rugby World Cup champions

By Tom Vinicombe
Handre Pollard of South Africa during the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour match between Scotland and South Africa at BT Murrayfield on November 17, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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The 2019 Test season may have ended on a dour note for Scotland, but 2020 is promising to be a big year for Gregor Townsend’s side.

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Scotland this year crashed to only a second-ever World Cup pool exit after falling to Ireland and Japan during the group stages of the tournament.

Ireland entered the competition as the favourites to top Pool A but hosts Japan shocked the world by claiming a well-taken win against the men from the Emerald Isle. Many still expected Scotland to triumph over the Brave Blossoms but they were brushed aside by the darlings of world rugby, 28-21.

Couple that loss with their earlier defeat at the hands of Ireland, and Scotland were on there way home earlier than most expected.

Between the World Cup exit and a 5th place finish in the Six Nations, it’s been a poor year for Scottish rugby.

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The Bravehearts have the chance to immediately bounce back, however, with a promising number of fixtures already on the calendar for 2020.

RugbyPass understands that Scotland will travel to South Africa in July next year to play a two-match series against the world champion Springboks.

Scotland last played in South Africa in 2014. In that one-off match in Port Elizabeth, Scotland were crushed 55-6.

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With a first game in New Zealand since 2000 also already booked into the calendar for July, Scotland will face their toughest mid-year schedule of the modern era.

That’s not the only good news for Scotland, however.

The Scotland Rugby Union has confirmed that Japan will head to the UK next year for a rematch of the World Cup Pool A fixture that saw Scotland ejected from the tournament.

The match, which will take place at Murrayfield, will be the fifth between the two nations in as many years.

The rivalry between the sides is slowly becoming one of the more fascinating in world rugby, with Scotland narrowly winning the first four games and Japan coming out on top in 2019.

Scotland’s other fixtures for November 2020 are yet to be confirmed, but at least one more game against a tier-two side is highly likely.

A number of 2020 international matches and tours have already been revealed, including a slew of tough challenges for Japan.

The Springboks’ celebrations took a royal turn when Prince Harry showed up:

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Scotland lock in Tests against new Rugby World Cup champions

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