Scotland bring in big guns for Wallabies clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has selected an experienced side to play Australia at Murrayfield on Sunday.
There are six changes to the starting XV that smashed Tonga last weekend.
Townsend has selected all the available Scottish British & Irish Lions contingent, which sees Stuart Hogg return to captain the team at fullback.
Hogg is joined in the back three by Edinburgh wing Darcy Graham and Lion, Duhan van der Merwe.
Glasgow Warriors’ Sam Johnson lines up with Gloucester’s Chris Harris in the centre with fellow Lions pair, Ali Price and Finn Russell, named as vice-captain, continuing their halfback partnership.
In the pack Matt Fagerson starts at No.8 with British & Irish Lion Hamish Watson and co-captain from the 60-14 win over Tonga last weekend, Jamie Richie, this week named as a vice-captain, on the flanks.
Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist packs down alongside Exeter Chiefs’ Sam Skinner in the second row for the first time since the Stade de France victory back in March.
In the front row there is continuity from the Tonga win as Edinburgh’s Pierre Schoeman joins Glasgow Warriors pair George Turner and Zander Fagerson.
There is the potential for two new caps off the bench with Sale Sharks hooker Ewan Ashman and Bath loose forward forward Josh Bayliss both in line for their Scotland debuts.
In the forwards Glasgow Warriors props Jamie Bhatti and Oli Kebble are selected following their involvement against Tonga, with Edinburgh’s Jamie Hodgson also part of the matchday squad after winning his first cap last week.
Dynamic halfback pairing George Horne and Adam Hastings are joined as the back options by Kyle Steyn, fresh from his historic four-try player of the match performance against the Tongans.
“While there were several positives to take from the win against Tonga we face a very different opponent in Australia this week,” said Townsend.
“They are coming into this fixture clearly off the back of good results and full of confidence, so we will need to bring focus, accuracy and aggression for the full 80 minutes.
“We have been able to select an experienced team with the availability of our players outside of Scotland and aim to use the remaining Nations Series fixtures to build our game through improving week on week.
“This is a great opportunity to test ourselves against an in-form side, who are also one of the leading teams in world rugby.”
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 George Horne, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Kyle Steyn.
Date: Sunday, November 7
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 14.15 (14.15 GMT; 01.15 AEDT Monday, November 8)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referee: Matthew Carley (England), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)