Scotland

Italy 0-17 Scotland

Townsend has come under fire after a poor start to the tournament for Scotland, who lost their opening two games against Ireland and England without scoring a try.

Captain Stuart Hogg ended that drought to put Scotland ahead at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, and Chris Harris' second-half effort made it a 10-point gap that proved well beyond the hosts, who conceded a third try to Adam Hastings in the last minute.

Jones calls in Launchbury, Vunipola

The duo could return from injury, having been sidelined for the chastening loss to France in England's Six Nations opener.

Eddie Jones, who will name his 23-man matchday selection on Thursday, has cut Charlie Ewels and will be without injured duo Manu Tuilagi (groin) and Anthony Watson (calf).

Lock Launchbury is on the mend following a knee problem, while Vunipola missed the clash in Paris after suffering an issue with his eye.

Scotland have only themselves to blame if Super Typhoon Hagibis knocks them out of RWC

The Scots will miss out on the quarter-finals if their match against hosts Japan in Yokohama on Sunday suffers the same fate as England’s clash with France and New Zealand’s game against Italy and is cancelled due to the approaching cyclone.

But Jones has limited sympathy for Gregor Townsend’s men given that all teams knew the potential for extreme weather events to intervene, highlighting the need to take them out of the equation.

Townsend happier after Scotland win

Townsend's men had endured an awful start to their campaign in a heavy opening defeat to Ireland, while hosts Japan's shock win against the Irish dealt a further blow to Scotland's hopes of advancing from Pool A.

But where Scotland had been poor from the off against Ireland, they were much improved on Monday and led 20-0 at the break.

Samoa's Ed Fidow then received two yellow cards and was dismissed for conceding a pair of penalty tries to hand Scotland a commanding 34-0 bonus-point win that brings them back into contention.

Sean Maitland admits he nearly blew crucial World Cup opportunity for Scotland

The Saracens’ wing got the Dark Blues off and running with the opener against Samoa and had a major say as they claimed the vital extras in Kobe.

With three touchdowns in the bag, Gregor Townsend’s team needed just one more score for the additional point that would fire them right back into the race for the quarter finals.

But Maitland almost blew his big moment with six minutes remaining as he threw himself at the line from five yards out.

Commonwealth Games: Scottish runner Callum Hawkins misses marathon gold after collapsing 2km from finish line

Hawkins had looked set for a comfortable victory when he opened a lead of more than two minutes over Australia's Michael Shelley on the Gold Coast.

But in the closing kilometres Hawkins began to be affected by the heat, with the temperature having reached 28 degrees by the late stages of the race.

He started swaying towards the roadside curve and even crashed into the spectator area next to the course just ahead of the Sundale Bridge in Southport.

Five changes for Scotland to take on Italy

The Dark Blues' faint title hopes were extinguished with defeat to Ireland last week but they will be keen to propel themselves up the table with victory against the tournament's whipping boys after wins against France and England.

Wing Tommy Seymour returns from injury to replace Blair Kinghorn in Rome on Saturday, while centre Nick Grigg makes his first championship start as he takes the place of Pete Horne, whose blunder put Ireland on their way to victory in Dublin.

Jones fronts up after Scotland loss

Huw Jones scored two tries, with Sean Maitland touching down in between, while Finn Russell delivered a man-of-the-match display to quell doubters that had sprung up in the first two weeks of the championship.

England were well off the pace at a raucous Murrayfield, regularly losing the battle on the ground and suffering from ill-discipline - giving away 13 penalties, one of which saw Sam Underhill sin-binned for a no-arms tackle.

Defeat was just Jones' second as England coach and the Australian offered no excuses for their below-par outing.

Scotland recall Visser, Nel, Scott

Harlequins wing Visser and Gloucester centre Scott have each earned recalls and are in contention to represent their country for the first time since June 2017, while Nel's inclusion comes after the Edinburgh prop proved his fitness after a spell on the sidelines with a broken arm.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has also called up Tim Swinson, who has recovered from a hand injury, Josh Strauss and uncapped Glasgow Warriors hooker James Malcolm.

Scotland star Hogg closes on return with Six Nations looming

The full-back has won the Player of the Tournament award in the past two seasons, and has been a cause for concern since injuring himself in the warm-up of the emphatic 53-24 beating of Australia in November.

However, Hogg is confident that he will be back on the pitch before Scotland's Six Nations opener against Wales on February 3.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, he said: "Hopefully I'll be back on the pitch in the next couple of weeks and ready to rock and roll again.

"We're getting there now.