Wallabies want to up their set piece for Scotland

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Adam Coleman is the leader of the Wallabies’ new second row generation, a group that will be heavily tested by Scotland on Saturday.

Coleman, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold and Lukhan Tui have just 34 Tests combined, with Carter leading the way with 14, though 11 of those came in 2014.

With their selections over former Test mainstays Kane Douglas and Rob Simmons for this series, change has clearly been signaled.

Coleman leads the way for the Wallabies in this year, the lineout caller and lead aggressor and it’s a position that he wears well.

“I’m really feeling positive and really enjoying the new responsibilities and some of the other guys have stepped up and it’s amazing,” he said on Sunday.

The Wallabies will be looking to up their lineout this week. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyCheika described the side’s set piece performance as a six-out-of-10 against Fiji, a rating that will need to improve against a Scotland team with forward fire power.

Though the Lions series has taken some of the best UK and Ireland talent to New Zealand, Scotland has lost just three players to the four-nation side, meaning the team they bring on Saturday will be formidable.

One half of their towering twin locks will be missing, with Richie Gray ruled out of the series, but Jonny Gray will be up for the challenge.

Coleman is ready for the challenge, keen to make the most of his second chance to face Scotland, after a knee injury in Edinburgh last year cut his first opportunity short.

“Scotland are a very quality side, as shown when we played at Murrayfield,” he said.

“They’ll look to come over her eand take it to us here in Sydney. They’re a good physical pack and they love to throw the ball around so we’ll look to take them on up front.

Scotland arrived in Sydney on Sunday, coming off a but 34-13 win over Italy in Singapore, and it was their attacking play that looked to have added an extra dimension in that clash, Cheika said.

"They’re looking to play quite sharp, a lot of attacking kicks, even small things like pretending to go for touch and taking a quick tap and running, little things that (mean you’ve) got to stay on the job all the time,” he said.

“Then they’ve got the other side where they can play it tight and play a mauling game and  things like that.

“It’s going to be a really good workout for us – we’re going to be tested everywhere.

“A young group of players, they’re going to have to step up from what we did last weekend and we’d expect that too.”

Could Stephen Moore return to the run-on side this weekend? Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyCheika has flagged the possibility of change for the weekend, though that seems like it would be a handful at most, with the Test coach open to the idea of Stephen Moore returning to the starting team.

“Maybe (he could start). We haven’t had a look at the game in detail et but we’ll just see,” he said.

“We’ll consider everyone again for selection. Raw slate and we’ll just go from there.”

Cheika was happy with Moore’s dynamic with Michael Hooper on Saturday, with the latter controlling the on-field proceedings.

"Michael stayed in charge when Stephen went out there because he had the flow of the referee, who I thought was very good last night too,” he said.

“I thought that dynamic was  good and they managed it themselves pretty well and that’s how they should be doing it really.

“They’ve been leading the team for a while together.”

The Wallabies take on Scotland on Saturday in Sydney, kicking off at 3pm AEST, LIVE on  FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.