THE BBC is facing criticism for appearing to write off Scotland’s chances in the Rugby World Cup before the tournament has even started.

In a guide to the Rugby World Cup published on the BBC Sport website on Friday, Scotland’s chances of making it through the group stages are dismissed despite currently being ranked as the fifth best team in the world.

While Scotland sits within a tough group containing both the first- and second-best ranked teams of Ireland and South Africa, there is still ample opportunity for the team to cause an upset and make it through.

However, the BBC appeared to dismiss this possibility while maintaining that both England and Wales will make it to the quarter finals.

It stated: “The World Cup draw - carried out in December 2020 - has generated a serious imbalance with tournament heavyweights South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and France all in its top half.

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“While those teams are set to meet in the quarter-finals in Paris, Australia, Argentina, England and Wales look set to make up the last eight on the other side of the draw.”

SNP MP Gavin Newlands has criticised the BBC for the assumption Scotland wouldn’t make it through.

“Poor poor wording by @BBCSport,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

“Scotland, currently the world’s 5th best team, has no chance of reaching the ¼ finals apparently.

“Mind you, it does serve to highlight the utter lunacy of @WorldRugby carrying out a #RugbyWorldCup draw 3 years beforehand”.

Scotland is due to face South Africa in their first game of the tournament on September 10.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.