Scotland make six changes for Wallabies
Scotland have made six changes and named three debutants for their one-off Test against the Wallabies in Newcastle on Tuesday night.
Coach Andy Robinson wielded the axe after Scotland’s last-start Six Nations loss to Italy as the tourists attempt a repeat of their memorable 2009 win over the Wallabies.
There are eight survivors from that side which beat Australia 9-8 at Murrayfield, including Ross Ford who will captain the team.
After their dismal Six Nations campaign, Robinson said he had no choice but to make changes.
“We were all very disappointed by the results in the Six Nations Championship and this tour is about our strong collective determination to put that right, play with confidence and win back pride,” Robinson said.
“There’s been an intensity to training since we’ve been out here which has pleased me but, as ever, it’s about delivering a consistent 80-minute performance and eliminating the sort of errors that have cost us dearly if we are to beat Australia.
“When we last played Australia three years ago, it was one of the most courageous performances of scramble defence I have ever seen. Four times, Australia were over our line only to be held up and it will require that uncompromising resolve in Newcastle on Tuesday if we are to repeat that success.”
Scotland have played 10 Test matches in Australia and it is 30 years since their lone success to date – at Ballymore in 1982.
Glasgow prop Ryan Grant will make his debut in Newcastle, while uncapped players Tom Brown (outside back) and Tom Ryder (lock) have been named on the bench.
Omitted from the team that lost to Italy in Rome last time out are Jon Welsh, Geoff Cross, Jim Hamilton and David Denton in the pack and Max Evans and Graeme Morrison in the backs.
They are replaced by Grant, Euan Murray, Al Kellock, Alasdair Strokosch, Joe Ansbro and Scott respectively. In a positional switch, John Barclay will move from blindside flank to No.8.
Former Scotland captain Kellock regards the Test as the start of his struggling side’s battle to begin their climb back up the rugby world rankings.
Kellock took over as captain in the famous Murrayfield win after starting skipper and halfback Chris Cusiter was forced off by an injury.
He felt Scotland were building something special following that win, but they have fallen away in recent months, losing seven straight games to slump to 12th in the rankings.
Scotland arrived in Newcastle on Saturday, while Australia will name their side on Sunday morning and head up the F3 on Monday.
© AAP 2013
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Joe Ansbro, Nick De Luca, Matt Scott, Sean Lamont, Greig Laidlaw, Mike Blair, Ryan Grant, Ross Ford (capt), Euan Murray, Alastair Kellock, Richie Gray, Alasdair Strokosch, Ross Rennie, John Barclay. Res: Scott Lawson, Jon Welsh, Tom Ryder, Richie Vernon, Chris Cusiter, Duncan Weir, Tom Brown.
Wallabes vs Wales - Scott Allen's match highlights -