Rugby World Cup: Scotland will take 'real swing' at winning in Japan

Scotland came within seconds of a semi-final place in the 2015 World Cup
Scotland came within seconds of a semi-final place in the 2015 World Cup

Scotland will be "taking a real swing" at winning the World Cup in Japan, says Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson, with a quarter-final place the minimum target.

A fourth-place finish in 1991 is the only time Scotland have gone beyond the last eight in eight attempts.

Gregor Townsend's side begin against Ireland on 22 September and also face Japan, Samoa and Russia in Group A.

"We're assembling the most powerful squad we've ever sent," Dodson said.

"Our expectation would be that we are in a quarter-final. And in a quarter-final anything can happen."

Scotland reached that stage of the 2015 tournament in England and were within seconds of reaching the semi-finals.

However, a controversial 80th-minute Australia penalty denied Vern Cotter's team a last-four meeting with Argentina.

"Cast your mind back to 2015 and we all still get cold sweats about that moment we were almost in a semi-final," Dodson added.

"When you get through to the quarter-finals of any tournament you have a chance of winning it. I promise you we'll be taking a real swing at it."

Dodson also confirmed that Scottish Rugby is in "in the thick of negotiations" with unnamed investors over "transformational" investment in the game in Scotland.

And he said that the purchase of stakes in Washington DC-based franchise Old Glory DC and Nice in the French first tier were about making Scotland "a name on everyone's lips".

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