Australia searches for back-to-back wins in Scotland

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies are searching for their second back-to-back wins of 2016, against a Scotland team playing its first Test since June.

Australia has made just one change to its starting team to face Scotland, with Will Genia coming into the side after being released by French club Stade Francais, but its bench has been shaken up.

Tom Robertson has settled into the Wallabies. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyTom Robertson, Dean Mumm, Will Skelton are the new faces on the pine, with Nick Phipps shifted to the replacements after starting against Wales.

Scotland has been hit by injuries in its front row, with with South African WP Nel ruled out of its end of year series, though 100-Test hooker Ross Ford will be a threat for them.

The Scots have admitted this week that last year’s World Cup quarter-final clash is still in the back of their mind.

How to watch

The Wallabies vs Scotland match will be broadcast on beIn Sports on Foxtel and streamed via Foxtel Go. Non-Foxtel subscribers can sign up for a trial version of beIn Sports Connect to stream the match online.

Key Stats

Israel Folau will play his 50th Test just three years, four months and 21 days after his debut.

Nick Phipps will play his 50th Test for the Wallabies against Scotland, after debuting in 2011.

Scotland hooker Ross Ford will play his 100th Tests against Australia.

Saturday’s Test will be Australia’s 100th in the UK, having a record of 61 wins, 35 losses and three draws.

Key Match-ups

Israel Folau vs Stuart Hogg

The battle of the two fullbacks is going to be an intriguing one on Saturday. Both sides had singled out their opposition’s 15 as a major threat ahead of the match, and they will surely play a major part in the Murrayfield match. Folau was back to some of his damaging best against Wales and one of his trademark game-breaking performances would be timely. Hogg is a keen student of Folau’s and will be targeted by the Wallabies.

Front row 

It’s going to be a dry track in Scotland on Saturday, which could change the dynamic of the match, but the forwards will be an influential part of the game. Australia’s tight five asserted their dominance on Wales in Cardiff and Scotland’s relatively young front row could be another victim on Saturday. Hooker Ross Ford will have a lot on his shoulders as the elder statesman.

Where the match will be won

Whoever wins this match will be the forward pack that unleashes its dynamic backs. Australia’s set piece has improved in recent Tests but Scotland will provide another stern Test, with the Gray brothers in the second row among the most dangerous in world rugby. Scotland has already said it would be targeting Australia’s set piece ball in the clash and the responsibility will be on Adam Coleman and Rory Arnold to ensure that doesn’t happen.


Scotland (1-15)

Allan Dell, Ross Ford, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson, Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russell, Tim Visser, Alex Dunbar, Huw Jones, Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg Reserves: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid,  Moray Low, Grant Gilchrist, John Hardie, Ali Price, Pete Horne, Rory Hughes

Australia (1-15)

Scott Sio, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Lopeti Timani, Will Genia, Bernard Foley, Henry Speight,  Reece Hodge, Tevita Kuridrani, Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau. Reserves Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Quade Cooper