Scotland to face new-look Wallabies

PA Sport
David Pocock will captain Australia against Scotland
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David Pocock will captain Australia against Scotland

With five new caps and a new captain, Australia coach Robbie Deans has gone for an adventurous line-up to tackle Scotland on Tuesday.

Deans has turned to flanker David Pocock to lead a side that, while highlighted by the untested names, retains plenty of experience.

As Scotland had expected the Wallabies squad is emphasised by players from Super 15 champions Queensland, although there may be some relief that mercurial fly-half Quade Cooper was not deemed match fit to play.

Cooper has been replaced by Berrick Barnes, who has come under fire this season for the "boring rugby" he has been masterminding at the under-performing Waratahs in Super Rugby.

For all that, the Scots' defence is likely to be severely tested by the new-look back division, which includes Mike Harris and Joseph Tomane, two New Zealand-born converts from rugby league who have both been in inspirational form this season.

Harris, who has been filling in for Cooper at fly-half for the Reds, will take over the kicking duties.

What may have caught the Scots by surprise is that there is a more than respectable contingent from the Waratahs, Rebels and Brumbies - who were in action over the weekend. Some will have only three days rest between matches, and any who keep their places when the Wallabies play Wales next weekend would then have played three big games in seven days.

"We looked at the options around each position, in terms of the relative workloads each of the players have already had this year, the amount of preparation we were able to have and the ability to back up on a tight turnaround before setting on the final combination," said Deans.

"We've effectively had to select two combinations at the same time to win two Test matches, though we will assess how we come out of Tuesday's game before finalising our line up for Wales."

One reason for the large number of new caps is that the Wallabies have suffered a pile of injuries - at fly-half, for example, Cooper, Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor have all recent international experience in the role and are all on the sidelines. Regular skipper James Horwill is also out injured, clearing the way for Pocock to become the 79th player to lead Australia in a Test.

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