AUSTRALIA v SCOTLAND
Brumbies lock sensation Radike Samo and South African born centre/wing Clyde Rathbone will make their debuts for Australia in Sundays test at Melbourne. Samo will not play at lock but at blindside making the comeback of big Owen Finegan unlikely if Samo fires. Matt Giteau will play at second-five in place of the injured Elton Flately. Joe Roff has been preferred at fullback, once again at the expense of Australian Super 12 player of the year Chris Latham. If Roff has been selected for his goal kicking it seems strange that he does not play on the wing ahead of the unimpressive Wendall Sailor. Latham is a far greater attacking force than Sailor and would relish the chance to play behind a dominant team after his season with the woeful Reds but I guess the Aussies need to have Sailor on the park to justify his wages. Veteren Matt Burke has a spot on the bench just a couple of weeks after it looked like no one in Australia wanted his services as does big Matt Dunninghame(ha). David Lyons will be looking for a big game to cement his spot after calls in the media for either John Roe or George Smith (surely hes too small) to be given a shot at No 8.
Scotland have gone for Australian Dan Parks at first-five ahead of Gordon Ross who had a poor game against the Waratahs mid-week. He joins fellow Australian Ben Hinshelwood in the Scottish backline in a selection perhaps showing Australias dominance over New Zealand, where a few years ago the Scottish backline contained several New Zealand born players. Or perhaps thats the influence of their Australian coach Matt Williams. Williams has also had to find a replacement for his star back, Chris Patterson, who suffered a triple fracture to his cheekbone, and that man is Hugo Southwell.
Scotland will be looking to build from last weeks convincing win over Samoa. They suffered a setback with a big loss to the Waratahs midweek pointing more to a very poor Samoan side rather than a good Scottish victory last Friday. They will have their work cut out against a pretty awesome Australian side and all the factors point to a huge Aussie victory
Wallabies: 15 Joe Roff, 14 Wendell Sailor, 12
Matt Giteau, 13 Clyde Rathbone, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Stephen Larkham
(vice-captain), 9 George Gregan (captain), 8 David Lyons, 7 George Smith,
6 Radike Samo, 5 Nathan Sharpe (vice-captain), 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Alastair
Baxter, 2 Brendan Cannon, 1 Bill Young.
Scotland: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Sean Lamont,
13 Ben Hinshelwood, 12 Andrew Henderson, 11 Simon Webster, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris
Cusiter, 8 Allister Hogg, 7 Donnie Macfadyen, 6 Jason White, 5 Scott Murray
(captain), 4 Stuart Grimes, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Gordon Bulloch, 1 Tom Smith.
TAB ODDS: $1.03 Australia $10 Scotland Points start: [-26.5 AUS $1.87 +26.5 SCO $1.87]
Date: Sunday June 13