Scots not falling for Australia’s ‘we’re in disarray’ trick, says coach Johnson
of Mike Harris and Christian Leali'ifano, and new wingers in Joe Tomane and Chris FeauaiSautia. Harris, capped eight times, will appear for Australia for the first time this year. Leali’ifano and Tomane have their first starts since they were injured in the romp against Argentina in Rosario last month, and Feauai- Sautia picks up his second cap, after a debut against the Springboks in the Rugby Championship.
There were four changes in the reserves, but otherwise the same pack which helped to crush Ireland 32-15 in Dublin last Saturday will run out against the Scots.
McKenzie said his side faces one of its “greatest challenges”, but Scotland interim coach Scott Johnson, an Australian, laughed at claims that his side was favoured to achieve a third straight win over the Wallabies.
“I don’t know if they’re in disarray,” Johnson said. “I said that this kid Leali’ifano is going to be a special 12 for Aus- tralia, so I’m not sure that's disarray. Australia are starting to assemble a really good side.”
McKenzie depleted the squad this week when he banned six players, five for the match against Scotland, for drinking three days before the Ireland game. A double blow followed on Tuesday, when Tevita Kuridrani was banned for five weeks for an illegal tackle against Ireland, and fellow midfielder Matt Toomua was also sidelined for the rest of the tour after pulling a ham- string in training.
McKenzie said the limited player availability will not be used as an excuse if they fall to Scotland. “This is a test of character for everyone, for all of us, the coaches, the whole lot. It will be an important moment. The circumstance is what it is this week, we’re not going to use it as an excuse around playing Scotland.”
Scotland were forced to make a late change to the pack after lock Tim Swinson aggravated a chest injury in training. He was replaced by Grant Gilchrist, capped four times. Winger Tommy Seymour recovered from a leg injury against the Springboks to start in a backline with only one change: Duncan Weir was in for Ruaridh Jackson at flyhalf.
“We know we can beat them and if you watch the game last year, it was based on incredible defence and guts,” captain Kelly Brown said. “It will be tough again but we just need to make sure we get our part right.” – Sapa-AP Teams: SCOTLAND: Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Nick De Luca, Duncan Taylor, Sean Lamont, Duncan Weir, Greig Laidlaw; David Denton, Kelly Brown (captain), Johnnie Beattie, Jim Hamilton, Grant Gilchrist, Moray Low, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant. Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Alasdair Dickinson, Euan Murray, Jonny Gray, Kieran Low, Chris Cusiter, Ruaridh Jackson, Max Evans. AUSTRALIA: Israel Folau, Joe Tomane, Christian Leali’ifano, Mike Harris, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Ben Mowen (captain), Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Replacements: Saia Fainga’a, Ben Alexander, Paddy Ryan, Sitaleki Timani, Ben McCalman, Nic White, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley