Jones piles pressure on Scotland

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The Independent Online

Eddie Jones, the Australia coach, has named two new caps and three full-backs in his side to face Scotland in tomorrow's first Hopetoun Cup Test.

Eddie Jones, the Australia coach, has named two new caps and three full-backs in his side to face Scotland in tomorrow's first Hopetoun Cup Test.

Clyde Rathbone, the former South Africa Under-21 captain, will make his Wallaby debut in the centres alongside Matt Giteau. Radike Samo, who rejected the chance to play for Fiji to become a Wallaby, will start at blindside flanker, providing Australia with a third line-out jumper to challenge Scotland's strong set-piece.

Jones also unveiled a radical new attacking approach which will see Joe Roff, Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor interchange at full-back, aiming to place increased pressure on Scotland's defensive kicking.

"We don't expect one of them to stay in the same position all game. They are three full-backs and they are going to roam around the field," said Jones. "We have named them that way to give people an understanding of the way we want them to play.

"At various stages, Lote, Wendell, Roffy and Chris Latham, when he comes on, will all interchange from centre, left or right. We have seen over the last 18 months how important kick return is. These guys will have to work together as a team."

The Scotland coach, Matt Williams, is just as aware of Australia's potent back three and has reinstated Dan Parks at fly-half, who is regarded as a better kicker than Gordon Ross. "They are making lots of changes. They are more exposed than you would get them during the Tri-Nations," Williams said.

"But they can still play poorly and win because they have got world-class individuals."

Australia's side features four changes from the team that started the World Cup final against England in Sydney last November. Roff returns to the starting side after Mat Rogers suffered an ankle injury during the Super 12 that will keep him out of action until August.

With Elton Flatley and Stirling Mortlock ruled out through injury, Jones has decided against picking the more direct Morgan Turinui or the experienced Matt Burke in the centres and has gone for an adventurous option by picking Rathbone and Giteau. Burke, who suffered a slight thigh strain in training, has been included on the bench with Matt Henjak standing by.

Rathbone led the South African Under-21s to a World Cup victory from the centre but this year, in his first injury-free season with the ACT Brumbies, he impressed from the wing as the Canberra-based side won the Super 12.

"It's a great honour to be selected for Australia and to do so at outside-centre is just a buzz," said Rathbone of his debut for his adopted country. "The preparation has been really good since we got into camp last week."

Samo's inclusion confirmed Jones' decision to ditch his World Cup policy of playing two openside flankers, with George Smith reverting to No 7 and his rival Phil Waugh dropping to the bench.

AUSTRALIA: J Roff; W Sailor, C Rathbone, M Giteau, L Tuqiri; S Larkham, G Gregan (capt); B Young, B Cannon, A Baxter, J Harrison, N Sharpe, R Samo, G Smith, D Lyons. Replacements: J Paul, M Dunning, D Vickerman, P Waugh, M Turinui, M Burke, C Latham.

SCOTLAND: H Southwell (Edinburgh) ; S Lamont (Glasgow) , B Hinshelwood (Worcester) , A Henderson (Glasgow) , S Webster (Edinburgh) ; D Parks (Glasgow) , C Cusiter (The Borders) ; T Smith (Northampton) , G Bulloch (Glasgow) , B Douglas (The Borders) , S Grimes (Newcastle) , S Murray (Edinburgh, capt) , J White (Sale) , D MacFadyen (Glasgow) , A Hogg (Edinburgh) . Replacements: S Scott (The Borders) , C Smith (Edinburgh) , I Fullarton (Sale) , J Petrie (Glasgow) , M Blair (Edinburgh) , G Ross (Leeds) , G Morrison (Glasgow) .

Referee: P Honiss (New Zealand)

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