Gregor Townsend has made four changes for the team to face Australia. You may not like all of them.
The backs are unchanged save for Sean Maitland who replaces the impressive Lee Jones. Jones drops out of the 23 altogether with the bench replacements also unchanged. There is presumably a contingency plan in place should Alex Dunbar fail to complete the return-to-play protocols which may well involve Pete Horne. Who comes in on the bench should this occur is a mystery but possibly Chris Harris or Ruaridh Jackson. It’s harsh on Jones who has played 2 very good games while Maitland has the pedigree but little in the way of form.
In the pack the changes are more widespread with Simon Berghan earning a start and Zander Fagerson perhaps rested on the bench. Everyone’s new cult hero Darryl Marfo is passed fit and Fraser Brown comes in to fill the reserve hooker slot. The scrum was one area that underperformed against New Zealand and will need a step up against the Wallabies. “Show me a picture”, to quote Mr D.
Grant Gilchrist starts his first test of the autumn alongside Jonny Gray while Toolis drops to the bench. Sadly no sign of Luke Hamilton who we’re keen to get another look at, but Ryan Wilson has recovered from his injury to take the Number 8 shirt back from Cornell du Preez who drops to the bench. A big effort will be required by Wilson to show he deserves the recall, with Du Preez bringing a welcome poise to restarts and carrying hard with the ball during his first start last week.
Toolis, du Preez and Jones can all feel pretty hard done by, but it does add a little more impact from the bench which may be required as both sides reach the end of their Autumn tests.
The Wallabies will be looking to go out on a high with Stephen Moore retiring after this game; Scotland will be looking to stop them and show the bright moments this autmn are signs of real growth.
Scotland: 15. Stuart Hogg (vice-capt), 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Sean Maitland, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ali Price, 1. Darryl Marfo, 2. Stuart McInally, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Grant Gilchrist, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. John Barclay (Capt), 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Ryan Wilson (vice-capt).
Replacements: 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.
Saturday 25 November (kick-off 2.30pm) – live on BBC / BT Sport
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (FRA)