Cheika: One Change

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Michael Cheika has made just one change to the start­ing XV that over­came Wales in Cardiff, with Will Ge­nia re­turn­ing in place of Nick Phipps for Sun­day’s clash with Scot­land.

Aus­tralia’s 24-point win was rea­son enough for Cheika to stick solid with the start­ing play­ers who pro­pelled the Wal­la­bies to their most com­plete first half of the year. Ge­nia, who joined the Wal­la­bies in camp on Sun­day after ful­fill­ing club com­mit­ments with Stade Fran­cais, was al­ways ex­pected to come back into the start­ing half­back role after an aus­pi­cious Rugby Cham­pi­onship. “Ge­nia, I thought he’s been one of our best all sea­son,” Cheika said. “I just feel that this is a good game for him to play, come back in and get straight into it and then Nick [Phipps] will fin­ish the game. I think Nick’s stan­dard has def­i­nitely gone up from what I saw ear­lier in the year and now there’s a real com­pe­ti­tion go­ing on there.” The un­lucky man is Dean Mumm, who has been rel­e­gated to the bench for the first time since the All Blacks match in Wellington in late Au­gust. Cheika ad­mit­ted he wanted to bring Mumm back in but it was more the form of Lopeti Ti­mani at No.8 that has caused him headaches. “He’s con­tin­u­ally mak­ing me pick him,” said Cheika of Ti­mani. “That’s the is­sue – his per­for­mances have spo­ken for them­selves. He’s been con­sis­tent and that’s all we can ask of the guy. He’s do­ing lots of good tight work and also when he needs to carry he’s car­ry­ing well. So I’d like to let him have an op­por­tu­nity to run this form out and learn from that. “It’s a tough one. But the way we’ll ar­range our fin­ish­ers, we’ll have the op­tion to play in dif­fer­ent ways if we want to, see­ing how we go early on with that for­ma­tion.” The ini­tial con­cern with Mumm’s ab­sence last week was that there would be a lack of ex­pe­ri­ence at li­ne­out time, but the start­ing sec­ond-row­ers in Adam Cole­man and go-to jumper Rory Arnold well and truly pa­pered over any sup­posed cracks. Al­though Cheika has floated the idea of mov­ing Is­rael Fo­lau into the mid­field on this spring tour, such a plan has been put on ice for the moment given how well Te­vita Kuridrani played at out­side-cen­tre at Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium. “He just ran harder and looked like he wanted it a bit,” Cheika said. “That’s re­ally im­por­tant and I want him to back it up, be­cause one game doesn’t [cut it]. I want to see him im­prove on that per­for­mance.” Prop Tom Robert­son comes in for James Slip­per on the bench while Will Skel­ton comes onto the pine for the first time since Bledis­loe game two in Wellington. The mes­sage from within Wal­la­bies camp this week has been to “start from zero” – a warn­ing that any over­con­fi­dence head­ing into the match at Mur­ray­field could im­me­di­ately quash Aus­tralia’s chance to achieve their goal of a grand slam, even if they won’t pub­licly ad­mit it.

Wal­la­bies team to play Scot­land (115)

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

Te­vita Kuridrani.

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