Edinburgh - Retiring hooker Stephen Moore has warned the
wounded Wallabies they will face a "tough test" against an
increasingly confident Scotland in their European tour finale in Edinburgh on
Australia are looking to bounce back from last week's 30-6
defeat at Twickenham, where a record 24-point loss to England was somewhat
harsh on the tourists.
They will also be trying to avenge a 24-19 defeat by
Scotland in the teams' most recent meeting in Sydney in June.
"Scotland beat us earlier in the year, so we know
they're a quality team," said Moore, the former Australia captain, who has
been promoted from bench duty to collect his 129th and final cap as a member of
the run-on XV.
"We know it's going to be a tough Test match for
us," the 34-year-old Queensland front-row added ahead of what will be his
last competitive match in both professional club and international rugby.
"These two teams have been evenly matched over quite a
period of time now."
The gap between the countries has indeed closed dramatically
since Moore made his first Australia start in a 44-15 thrashing of Scotland in
Edinburgh in November 2006.
He scored the last of five Wallaby tries that day in what
was a 16th successive Australian triumph over the Scots.
Scotland, who nearly recorded their first victory over world
champions New Zealand before going down 22-17 to the All Blacks at Murrayfield
last week, have won three of their six encounters with the Wallabies since that
heavy 2006 loss.
Their June success was all the more impressive given they
were without their three most potent attacking weapons in fullback Stuart Hogg,
centre Huw Jones and wing Sean Maitland, all of whom are set to be in action at
a sold-out Murrayfield on Saturday.
The three losses Scotland have suffered against the
Wallabies in that period have all been by narrow margins: 23-22 at Murrayfield
last November, 35-34 in a controversial 2015 World Cup quarter-final at
Twickenham and 21-15 in Edinburgh three years ago.
But despite his team's impressive performance against the
All Blacks, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend warned: "We've got
arguably an even bigger challenge (against Australia).
"We're playing the current number three team in the
world, arguably the best attacking team in the world," he added.
"Australia beat New Zealand a few weeks ago. They were
very good (in a 29-21 win) against Wales and had a lot of the game on a wet day
against England, so we know we are playing one of the form teams in the world
"If we drop our standards we are not going to
win," the former Scotland playmaker insisted.
Townsend, who cites two spells playing with the Sydney club
Warringah as the pivotal experience in his rugby career, has made four changes
to his starting XV.
Maitland comes in for Lee Jones on the left wing, with No 8
Ryan Wilson, lock Grant Gilchrist and prop Simon Berghan all added to the home
Wallaby head coach Michael Cheika escaped punishment by
officials on Thursday following an investigation into his off-field behaviour
during Australia's defeat at Twickenham.
It is his players' discipline, however, that will likely
need to improve if Australia are to end their year on a winning note.
Fullback Kurtley Beale and openside flank Michael Hooper
were both sin-binned against England.
Australia captain Hooper now holds the dubious distinction
of being the most yellow-carded player in international rugby union history,
with eight such cautions against his name.
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
Substitutes: 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
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 (captain), 6 Ben McCalman; 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rob Simmons; 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Karmichael Hunt, 23 Henry Speight