Scotland at Murrayfield looms as the Wallabies' biggest challenge of the year
The Wallabies are set to face a bullish Scotland in Edinburgh, in a showdown that shapes as the biggest threat to their current winning streak.But Australia's last three matches of the Autumn Nations Series might just present the biggest challenge yet.
Kurtley Beale will start at fullback and OIlie Hoskins is in line for a shock Test debut as a season of unexpected Wallabies selections continues for Sunday's clash with England (4.30am AEDT).
Beale, who made an unlikely comeback via the bench in Monday's loss to Scotland, will replace Andrew Kellaway in the No.15 jersey at Twickenham.
The impressive Kellaway will revert to the right wing in place of the luckless Jordan Petaia who has succumbed to another hamstring injury.
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Wallaby weapon who's 'mad as a cut snake'
Eddie Jones says Scott Wisemantel is 'as mad as a cut snake' but knows what a danger his former England coaching assistant is now he's in the Wallabies' corner.Instead, Jones' old Australian pal Wisemantel is now working his coaching wiles as Wallaby coach Dave Rennie's assistant and, having had a foot in both camps, appears to be a key figure in the build-up to Saturday's Test at Twickenham.
© SNS Group via Getty Images Australia's Kurtley Beale in action at Murrayfield.
But while Petaia's latest setback is unfortunate, the Wallabies brains trust will be far more concerned with the significant setbacks in the engine room.
Quality tighthead props Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa have both been ruled out with concussion symptoms after copping head knocks against Scotland.
That means 112 Test veteran James Slipper, predominantly a loosehead, will start in the No.3 jersey.
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READ MORE: 'Disgusting' pitch invader costs Wales a try © Getty James Slipper of the Wallabies and Sam Cane of the All Blacks scuffle.
Slipper last started a Test at tighthead in 2012 but does have more recent Super Rugby experience in the position.
'You could see it in their sweaty eyes:' The 2023 Rugby World Cup preliminaries just began
The coaches of the five teams who can win the 2023 Rugby World Cup were intensely focused this past weekend. You could see it in their sweaty eyes. You could hear it in their press conferences: the theories, the hypotheses, the players being marked off (Kurtley Beale, Matt Scott) the roster for France, and the longing for certainty, for control, for a rationale to use to satiate their fandoms, or stave off the axe. Gregor Townsend was the biggest loser on the weekend. He dropped Hamish Watson to the bench because he is too small to play against the Boks, but the Boks are tiny nowadays.
He's as wily as they come but with youngster Angus Bell getting the nod at loosehead, England will undoubtedly target Australia's understrength scrum.
The propping crisis means a fairytale call up for 28-year-old Perth product Hoskins, who will almost certainly make his Test debut from the bench.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here! © Getty Ollie Hoskins jogs during an Australian training session in Teddington.
A specialist tighthead, Hoskins played for the Western Force between 2014-16 before taking up a contract with London Irish.
The tighthead has become a pillar of the Irish pack with 123 appearances and provides valuable experience following Tupou's sickening collision.
France-based hooker Tolu Latu will make his return to the Wallabies for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup while prop Tom Robertson also comes onto the bench.
A 13-minute Wallabies career? This 120kg Dungeons and Dragons geek is OK with that
Prop Oliver Hoskins backs the focus on selecting local players for the Wallabies, even if it means his international career is over almost as soon as it began."I'm a massive fantasy nerd, I've been a nerd all my life, and I was actually at a friend's house," he recalled.
Under Eddie Jones, England peeled off seven straight victories against Michael Cheika's Wallabies and now Dave Rennie gets his first crack at the 2019 Rugby World Cup runners-up.
"Playing England at a packed Twickenham is one of the toughest assignments in Test rugby but we're excited by that," Rennie said.
"While it's disappointing for Taniela and Allan who weren't able to pass their protocols within the six day turnaround, it's created an opportunity for Ollie to realise a lifelong dream.
"He's impressed us with his dedication and diligence to get up to speed quickly and we're confident he'll do a good job for us."
Iziaia Perese's impressive Test debut off the bench led to Andrew Mehrtens calling for a promotion to the starting side on Stan Sport's Between Two Posts.
But Rennie has given Hunter Paisami and Len Ikitau another opportunity to grow their midfield partnership.https://twitter.com/StanSportAU/status/1458649539062247427?s=20
Noah Lolesio is also set to make an impact off the bench after taking Beale's place among the reserves.
Former Wallaby Morgan Turinui had argued for Will Skelton's inclusion in the run-on side but he will again be used as a bench weapon behind starting locks Rory Arnold and Izack Rodda.
WALLABIES (15-1): Kurtley Beale, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright, James O'Connor, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Rob Leota, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Angus Bell
Reserves: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Oliver Hoskins, Will Skelton, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Izaia Perese
‘Nick Tompkins’ try was legal’ – Wayne Pivac .
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac believes Nick Tompkins' crucial second half try in Saturday's win over Australia in Cardiff was a legitimate one.Wallabies full-back Kurtley Beale was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on midway through the first half, which meant Australia briefly played with 13 players after number eight Rob Valetini was red carded earlier due to a dangerous tackle on Wales lock Adam Beard.