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Hooper returns for Wallabies as Ritchie captains Scotland for first time 

Hooper returns for Wallabies as Ritchie captains Scotland for first time 

Hooper returns for Wallabies as Ritchie captains Scotland for first time 

Michael Hooper is set to make his return to the Australia side this weekend while Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie is named as captain for the first time.

Hooper returns to the fold after missing the Rugby Championship due to mental health reasons in a Wallabies side captained by James Slipper.

After being appointed Scotland captain for the Autumn Nations Series, Ritchie will lead his side out for the first time on his own, having previously co-captained the side against Tonga last year.

Scotland defeated Australia 15-13 in dramatic circumstances in last year’s clash and will be looking for a third consecutive victory over the Wallabies.

Townsend names Scotland side for Autumn Nations Series opener 

Ritchie is joined in the back row by Hamish Watson and Matt Fagerson, while in the absence of Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner joins Edinburgh teammate and vice-captain Grant Glichrist.

In the front row, Zander Fagerson and Pierre Schoeman are joined by hooker Dave Cherry.

Ali Price will also vice-captain the side from scrum-half, with Blair Kinghorn starting at fly-half, while Sione Tuipulotu starts at inside centre, and Scotland’s hero of the summer Mark Bennett wearing the 13 jersey.

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Edinburgh duo Duhan van der Merwe and Darcy Graham are joined by Ollie Smith at full-back after earning his first cap in the third Test in Argentina.

Glen Young is named on the bench for Scotland, alongside former Wallaby Jack Dempsey, who could earn make his Scotland debut after previously making 14 caps for their opposition this weekend.

Scotland team to face Australia: 

15. Ollie Smith, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Sione Tuipulotu, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Blair Kinghorn, 9. Ali Price, 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. Dave Cherry, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Sam Skinner, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Jamie Ritchie (c), 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. WP Nel, 19. Glen Young, 20. Jack Dempsey, 21. George Horne, 22. Ross Thompson, 23. Damien Hoyland

Slipper named captain as Hooper makes return

Slipper will captain the Wallabies from loosehead prop, with fellow experienced prop Allan Alaalatoa starting at tighthead and David Porecki named at hooker.

Hooper is joined in the back row by Jed Holloway and Rob Valetini, with Pete Samu named as a replacement, while Nick Frost and Cadeyrn Neville form an inexperienced second-row pairing.

In the backs, Tate McDermott is preferred to Nic White at scrum-half with experienced fly-half Bernard Foley wearing the No.10 shirt.

James Slipper during the warm-up

Hunter Paisami and Len Ikitau make up the centres, with a back three of Tom Wright, Andrew Kellaway and Tom Banks.

Noah Lolesio is named as a replacement, with Jock Campbell set to make his debut as a replacement.

Australia team to face Scotland: 15. Tom Banks, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12. Hunter Paisami, 11. Tom Wright, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Tate McDermott, 1. James Slipper (c), 2. David Porecki, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Nick Frost, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Jed Holloway, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Rob Valetini

Replacements: 16. Folau Fainga’a, 17. Matt Gibbon, 18. Taniela Tupou, 19. Ned Hanigan, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Nic White, 22. Noah Lolesio, 23. Jock Campbell 


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