Aussies forced into a late change for clash at Mur­ray­field

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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