McKenzie comfortable with extent of Wallaby changes for Scotland

Four of Wallabies duo to run out at Murrayfield have won fewer than 10 caps

 Australiab  coach Ewen McKenzie looks on during the Captain’s Run prior to their Test Match against Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph:  Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Australiab coach Ewen McKenzie looks on during the Captain’s Run prior to their Test Match against Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Sat, Nov 23, 2013, 01:00

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie insists he is not taking a gamble by naming an inexperienced line-up against Scotland.

Four of the Wallabies’ starting XV due to run out at Murrayfield today – Brumbies pair Scott Fardy and Joe Tomane as well as the Queensland Reds duo of Chris Feauai-Sautia and Mike Harris – have won fewer than 10 caps.

And after banning five players from the Edinburgh encounter after they were caught up in a late-night drinking scandal ahead of last weekend’s victory against Ireland, McKenzie has been forced to name a new centre pairing of Harris and Christian Leali’ifano, who himself has won just 11 caps.

The alterations are among four changes to the side which won 32-15 in Dublin but McKenzie is comfortable with the side he has selected.

He said: “Everyone in the group has played for their country before. It’s not like we are going in with uncapped players. There are one or two that haven’t played as much as some of the others but they have been picked for a reason.”

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has reassured Ruaridh Jackson that he has not surrendered the number 10 jersey for as a result of his South African nightmare last week.

Jackson was responsible for two of the four tries conceded in the 28-0 drubbing dished out by the Springboks last Sunday. Duncan Weir will take over from his Glasgow team-mate at outhalf.

But Johnson insists Jackson was never down to start against Ewen McKenzie’s side.

The Scots’ Australian boss said: “This choice isn’t a reflection of Ruaridh’s performance last week. Duncan was always down for this game.”

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