Aussies forced into a late change for clash at Murrayfield
CENTRE Digby Ioane has withdrawn from the Australia side to play Scotland at Murrayfield today with a shoulder injury and will be replaced by Ryan Cross, the Australian Rugby Union announced.
Cross was also drafted in late to replace Berrick Barnes against New Zealand in Tokyo and came off the bench against England two weeks ago.
Lachie Turner has been called in to take the vacant place on the bench.
Earlier, Australia made just one change to its team, drafting in George Smith to replace David Pocock at openside flanker.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said he was resting Pocock after the 21-year-old forward’s man-of-the-match perfor mance in last week’s 20-20 draw at Ireland.
Pocock drops out of the squad and his place is taken by Western Force teammate Richard Brown. Loosehead prop Sekope Kepu joins him on the bench to replace Matt Dunning in the only other change to the squad.
“David had an outstanding game, and was deservedly man of the match in Dublin, but he did get knocked around a bit,” Deans said. “Because of that, we decided it was prudent to give him a complete breather at this point.
“We’re in the fortunate position of having George in form and ready to go.”
Pocock spent the final eight minutes of Sunday’s game in the blood bin with a chin cut that he had stitched after the game.
But the man the Scots fear most is Australia flanker and captain Rocky Elsom.
Home hooker Ross Ford singled out dynamic breakaway and skipper Elsom as the man who can run riot in Edinburgh.
“Rocky is a class act, he’s a worldclass player, and he consistently produces the goods on the pitch and is a real talisman” said Ford. “He’s somebody we’ve really got to watch out for.”
Reserve scrumhalf Mike Blair has withdrawn from the Scotland bench after failing a fitness test on his injured ankle, the Scottish Rugby Union said.
Blair, who shares the on-pitch captaincy duties with first choice number nine Chris Cusiter, will be replaced on the bench by Rory Lawson, grandson of former BBC commentator Bill McLaren.
Australia haven’t lost to Scotland since 1982 – a run of 16 straight wins –and will be all the more determined to extend that record after dreams of a Grand Slam disappeared with last week- end’s 20-20 draw against Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin. – SapaAFP and Reuters