Time for Townsend's men to shine on world stage

By Andy Burke, BBC Scotland in Marseille

Given the draw for this Rugby World Cup took place way back in December 2020, we have been building up to Scotland's showdown with South Africa literally for years.

The day is finally here and in the baking heat of Marseille the Scottish fans have travelled in their numbers to see if maybe, just maybe, the Scots can throw a stick of dynamite into this tournament by turning over the defending champions.

The Springboks have pitched up at the World Cup with the ominous swagger of a team who has inflicted merciless beatings on Wales and New Zealand in the warm-ups. They look like they fully expect to retain the trophy they won in Japan four years ago.

Scotland at their best can cause South Africa problems, of that there is no doubt. The problem is Scotland could produce their best ever performance and it still might be not be enough against such a formidable side.

All they can do is deliver a high level display, hope the Springboks are a little bit off it, and see where it takes them.

Scotland have been in the waiting room outside the door of being contenders for quite some time now, never quite being able to take that step over the threshold. If ever there was a time to do it, today at the Stade Velodrome is it.

Scotland training in Marseille
Can Scotland cause an upset against the World Cup holders?