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Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Scots unchanged for Aussie clash

Autumn internationals - Scotland v Australia
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium Date: Saturday, 21 November Kick-off: 1715 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TWO and online, full commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and online, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live

Chris Cusiter
Cusiter captained the side that beat Fiji at Murrayfield

Chris Cusiter will retain the captain's armband for Scotland's second autumn Test against Australia on Saturday with Chris Paterson remaining on the bench.

Mike Blair and Johnnie Beattie missed training on Monday but have been named in Andy Robinson's unchanged 22.

Beattie, who scored a try in the win over Fiji, has recovered from a groin strain, while Blair will be on the bench following an ankle injury.

Record points-scorer Paterson has yet to make a start under Robinson.

The new head coach was pleased to start his reign with a win last weekend but has urged his players to improve their performance for the meeting with the world's third ranked side.

"We are giving the players the opportunity to perform against the Wallabies, who are a top quality international side - the sort that everyone wants to test themselves against," said Robinson.

It's another level this week and we have to show a 15 percent improvement

Andy Robinson

"Competition for places is intense and we'll be watching the Scotland A game against Tonga in Gala on Friday night very closely.

"But we are saying to the players for Saturday step up this weekend and show improvement."

Australia opened their tour of the home unions by beating England 18-9 at Twickenham, but they were held to a 20-20 draw by Ireland on Sunday.

"I'm aware that the Australia scrum has been improving," added Robinson. "Their lineout, however, has been under pressure but then which side wouldn't against Ireland and England.

"This is an impressive Australia team. They had their hardships in the Tri-Nations but they showed their worth against South Africa. They'll want to keep unbeaten on tour."

Scotland have lost their past 16 meetings with the Wallabies dating back to 1982 and have won only one of their past 43 Tests against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.


Reflecting on the 23-10 win over Fiji, Robinson is asking for a bigger effort and wants the players to be more creative.

"We have to improve at the scrum, our lineout has to be more efficient, our defence has to be better and we have to put in harder hits," he continued.

"I'd also like to see more enjoyment with ball in hand. We had too many players in the ruck and that produced slow ball. The players, however, understand that.

"It's another level this week and we have to show a 15 percent improvement. We have to look at how we try to play. I thought we lacked a bit of ambition."

Allister Hogg, Craig Hamilton, Roddy Grant, John Houston, Jim Thompson and Jon Welsh have been added to the 33-man squad that gathered earlier this month.

Hogg, Houston and Thompson are in the starting line-up for the A side's match against Tonga at Netherdale on Friday, while Hamilton and Grant are substitutes.

Scotland team: Rory Lamont (Toulon), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors - captain); Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow Warriors).
Replacements: Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh), Jason White (Clermont Auvergne), Richie Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh)

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see also
Scotland A 38-7 Tonga
20 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Mixed feelings for coach Robinson
14 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Scotland 23-10 Fiji
14 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Cusiter not fazed by captaincy
12 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Lamont brothers relishing recall
11 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Cusiter leads Scots against Fiji
09 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Lineen takes charge of Scotland A
06 Nov 09 |  Scottish
New era dawns for Scots
09 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Scots duo relish shared captaincy
06 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Scotland A set up Tonga challenge
14 Oct 09 |  Scottish
Uncapped trio get Scotland call
21 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union

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