Rugby Union: Change of scheme for Macqueen

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The Independent Online
Rod Macqueen, Australia's coach, has been obliged to turn his thoughts to bigger, more important things; victory over Scotland is no longer a priority.

After a surprise defeat in Argentina and a laboured 15-15 draw last weekend at Twickenham, Macqueen will be satisfied if his players produce an improved display on Saturday that takes him a step nearer to finding a formula that will work at the World Cup.

The former ACT coach, whose side's performances have drawn heavy criticism back home, will start at Murrayfield with the same players who faced England, with the hooker Michael Foley retaining his place and Tim Horan and Andrew Blades both passed fit to play.

Macqueen is keen that the merits of a tour that has so far failed to reach the heights of their All Black neighbours' exploits are not lost at the expense of the long-term gain. "We obviously want to win the game, but what I am concerned with - and I am sure the players are too - is looking at the standard of our play, more so than the result," he said. "We haven't been happy with the standard so far. However, we did see some positives in the England game.

"I have to say that if we win by 30 points and don't play well, I won't feel we have achieved what we set out to do. If we have a narrow victory, or perhaps a draw, or lose even, and we take a step up and improve on the standards of our play, I will definitely be happier."

Werner Swanepoel will make his Test debut for South Africa against France in Paris on Saturday in place the injured scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen. Swanepoel's place on the bench will go to Dan van Zyl in the only team change for the second Test after the Springboks won the first Test 36-32 in Lyon last Saturday.

The Gloucester wing Philippe Saint-Andre will captain France, while Harlequins' Thierry Lacroix and Laurent Cabannes retain their places. Olivier Merle starts after scoring a try as a replacement in last week's first Test defeat.

AUSTRALIA (v Scotland, Murrayfield, Saturday): S Larkham (ACT); B Tune, T Horan (both Queensland), P Howard, J Roff (both ACT); E Flatley (Queensland), G Gregan (ACT); R Harry (NSW), M Foley (Queensland), A Blades (NSW), J Langford (ACT), J Eales (Queensland, capt), O Finegan, B Robinson (both ACT), W Ofahengaue (NSW). Replacements: M Hardy, S Payne (NSW), D Wilson, M Cockbain (both Queensland), A Heath (NSW), M Caputo (ACT).

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