The Wallabies need a bullish display against Scotland in order to give former captain Stephen Moore a winning send-off, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
Scotland will have taken confidence from their superb performance against the All Blacks last weekend, when they ran the No 1 team in the world close before losing 22-17. But it’s the Wallabies who will not want for motivation when they clash with the brave Scots.
There are so many subplots surrounding this Test.
Still smarting after their controversial 30-6 defeat to England last week, Australia will want to produce a statement performance to end their tour of Europe – and in fact their season – on a high.
Then there’s the matter of coach Michael Cheika being under investigation for his furious outbursts directed at the match officials at Twickenham when a number of refereeing decisions went against his side. The players need to deliver a comprehensive display to relieve some pressure on their under-fire coach.
Emotions will also run high, as this Test will serve as Moore’s rugby swansong. The 34-year-old announced his retirement from all forms of the game, effective immediately after the match against Scotland. Moore will finish his career as the second-most capped Wallabies player of all time (129) and the second-most capped Super Rugby player of all time (177).
His teammates will know that the veteran hooker, who made his Test debut in 2005, deserves to bow out with a win.
And then’s there’s also the case of retribution for Australia, following their shock 24-19 defeat at the hands of Scotland in Sydney earlier this year.
The stage is set for an epic clash between the sides, but all indications point to a Wallabies backlash.
Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Darryl Marfo.
Subs: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Byron McGuigan.
Wallabies – 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Tatafu Polota-Naue, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Taniela Tupoua, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Karmichael Hunt, 23 Karmichael Hunt.
Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images