Scotland vs Australia | Scotland and Australia meet for the second time in 2017, on this event at BT Murrayfield, in a match that flags the finish of the logbook year Test season for the two sides. Saturday night’s conflict in Edinburgh offers the home side the opportunity to finish an uncommon twofold finished the Wallabies after the Scots recorded a stun triumph Down Under in June.
While they didn’t get the prevail upon the All Blacks a week ago, Gregor Townsend’s side should take huge certainty from the design in which they played; sometimes has a Scotland equip made such a great amount of room out wide nor debilitated so truly in assault. Had it not been for some finished fervor and pushed passes, Scottish rugby could have been celebrating all week. The way things are, it was an exertion the once-doing combating Scots ought to be enormously glad for. Scotland vs Australia
The same can’t be said of the Wallabies who slipped to a fifth straight annihilation to Eddie Jones’ England. While the 30-6 scoreline not the slightest bit mirrored the closeness of the Twickenham experience, England were the better side and completed well finished the highest point of their southern adversaries. There has been a considerable measure of aftermath from that match, most prominent encompassing mentor Michael Cheika, which means the Wallabies must refocus in what is the last trip of their season.
Townsend has made four changes to the side beaten 22-17 by the All Blacks, three of which come up front in the pack. Grant Gilchrist and Simon Berghan start at tighthead and lock respectively, while Ryan Wilson returns at No.8. Former British & Irish Lions tourist Sean Maitland is the only change to the backline on the left wing.
Stephen Moore returns to the starting line-up for his 129th and final Wallabies appearance. Prop Taniela Tupou, meanwhile, is set to make his Test debut having been named among the replacements. Tupou is one of five changes on the bench, with fellow prop Tetera Faulkner, Lukhan Tui, Lopeti Timani and Henry Speight also included in the 23-man squad. Scotland vs Australia
Scotland: Hogg, Seymour, H.
Replacements: Brown, Bhatti, Fagerson, Toolis, du Preez, Pyrgos, Horne, McGuigan
Australia: Beale, Koroibete, Kuridrani, Kerevi, Hodge, Foley, Genia; Sio, Moore, Kepu, Simmons, Enever, McCalman, Hooper (captain), McMahon.
Replacements: Polota-Nau, Faulkner, Tupou, Tui, Timani, Phipps, Hunt, Speight.
Key matchup: Stuart Hogg vs. Kurtley Beale
What began as a murmur a few years back has now become serious conversation: is Stuart Hogg Scotland’s finest ever rugby player? Robbed of a potential three-Test battle with the All Blacks back in June, Hogg condemned that dose of friendly fire to history by starring in a Man-of-the-Match display against the world champions last week. Brilliant on the counter, skilful with ball in hand and a competent defender, Hogg will again be at the heart of the Scottish attack this weekend. Play like he did last week again on Saturday and that aforementioned conversation might be put to bed once and for all.
While Hogg enjoyed a sublime outing on the penultimate weekend of November internationals, the same can’t be said for Kurtley Beale who endured a torrid night in slippery conditions in London. But the biggest criticism the Wallabies fullback came in for was his somewhat lackadaisical chase of a seemingly innocuous England clearing kick. As it turned out, the ball did a wicked dance down the touchline, possibly on it depending which hemisphere you reside in, before a determined Elliot Daly toed ahead and went on to score a match-turning try. Beale is unlikely to make the same mistake again, yet the Wallabies will need far more from him in attack if they’re to triumph in Edinburgh.