Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has taken a big gamble by starting Tate McDermott at scrumhalf against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
McDermott will wear the No 9 jersey for the first time since Australia played the Springboks on the Gold Coast more than a year ago, and make just his sixth start in 19 Tests.
The 24-year-old has not featured at all in the Wallabies’ last three losses, yet is preferred to both Nic White and Jake Gordon for their end-of-year tour opener.
McDermott’s lack of game time this year, his first-time halfback combination with Bernard Foley, and a 70% chance of rain in Edinburgh make it a risky selection by Rennie.
“We’re confident with him,” said the Wallabies coach. “We didn’t really look at the conditions – we were keen to give Tate a crack.
“Edinburgh this time of year is probably going to be gloomy and cold and damp, but we think he can bring a real point of difference and he’s in a good place also. We’re happy with that.”
McDermott is one of several changes to Australia’s match-day 23.
Ton Banks has been reinstalled at fullback, with Brumbies flyer Tom Wright on the left wing and Hunter Paisami at inside centre.
Up front, Nick Frost is set to make his second start at Test level, partnering Brumbies teammate Cadeyrn Neville in the second row.
James Slipper will captain the side from loosehead prop in his 124th Test.
For the hosts, all eyes will be on flyhalf Blair Kinghorn in the absence of Finn Russell, who was controversially left out of the Scotland squad by coach Gregor Townsend.
Townsend insisted the decision was made solely on form, but the two do have a strained relationship.
Kinghorn was always going to wear the No 10 jersey for this match, which falls outside World Rugby’s Test window, but Russell’s squad omission will put more pressure on the Edinburgh man to perform.
Saturday’s Test will kick off at 6:30pm (SA time).
Scotland – 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie (c), 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 George Turner, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 WP Nel, 19 Glen Young, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 George Horne, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Damien Hoyland.
Wallabies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Nick Frost, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (c).
Subs: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nic White, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Jock Campbell.