Robinson demands rapid improvement
Wednesday 18 November 2009
Scotland will have an unchanged starting XV and an unchanged bench when the Australians roll up at Murrayfield on Saturday but the message emanating from the camp yesterday was not quite "Same again, please."
It was one thing for Andy Robinson to get off to a winning start with a 23-10 win against a Fiji side who fielded nine debutants in Edinburgh last Saturday. It will be quite another for the former England chief to become the first Scotland coach to claim the Wallabies' scalp since 1982.
"We need to improve in every area," Robinson said, after applying the selectorial rubber-stamp to a line-up that will keep Chris Cusiter as scrum-half and captain and Alex Grove at outside-centre for a second cap, with Chris Paterson and his deadly right boot again detailed to bench duty. "We won comfortably against Fiji but it's now about saying we have to go to another level this week," Robinson said. "The reason for picking the same team and 22 is to say, 'Go out there and improve.'"
The Wales coach, Warren Gatland, will effectively revert to the team that lost to New Zealand two weeks ago for Saturday's international against Argentina. Gatland has recalled Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Matthew Rees and Martyn Williams after they were rested for Friday's 17-13 win over Samoa. The only difference to the side that lost to the All Blacks is Jonathan Davies replacing sidelined centre Tom Shanklin,who sustained a facial injury against Samoa.
Jonathan Sexton will make his Ireland debut in Saturday's match against Fiji at the Royal Dublin Society Arena as one of eight changes to the side that drew against Australia. The 24-year-old Leinster player replaces Ronan O'Gara at fly-half.
The South Africa wing Bryan Habana is free to play on the rest of his team's European tour after being cleared of trying to deliberately kick France's Vincent Clerc last week.
Scotland XV v Australia
R Lamont (Toulon): 15
S Lamont (Scarlets): 14
A Grove (Worcester): 13
G Morrison (G'gow): 2
S Danielli (Ulster): 11
P Godman (E'burgh): 10
C Cusiter (G'sgow, c): 9
A Jacobsen (E'burgh): 1
R Ford (Edinburgh): 2
M Low (Glasgow): 3
N Hines (Leinster): 4
A Kellock (Glasgow): 5
A Strokosch (Gl'ster): 6
J Barclay (Glasgow): 7
J Beattie (Glasgow): 8
Referee R Poite (Fr)
Kick-off Sat, 17.15
Wales XV v Argentina
J Hook (Ospreys): 15
L Halfpenny (Blues): 14
J Roberts (Blues): 13
J Davies (Scarlets): 12
S Williams (Ospreys): 11
S Jones (Scarlets): 10
G Cooper (Blues): 9
G Jenkins (Blues): 1
M Rees (Scarlets): 2
P James (Ospreys): 3
A-W Jones (Ospreys): 4
L Charteris (Dragons): 5
A Powell (Blues): 6
M Williams (Blues): 7
R Jones (Ospreys, c): 8
Referee G Clancy (Ire)
Kick-off Sat, 14.30
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