Scotland v Australia: Jack Dempsey on bench to face Wallabies

Scott Cummings out of squad for Autumn Series with a broken toe and is replaced by Glen Young

Jack Dempsey is set to make his Scotland debut off the bench against Australia on Saturday. Image: © Craig Watson -
Jack Dempsey is set to make his Scotland debut off the bench against Australia on Saturday. Image: © Craig Watson -

JACK DEMPSEY will make his Scotland debut from the bench against Australia – the country he represented 14-times before switching allegiance through World Rugby’s new birthright eligibility rule – on Saturday evening. Matt Fagerson starts at No 8.

Meanwhile, second-row Scott Cummings has out of the squad for this Autumn series due to a broken toe. He has been replaced by Glen Young, who comes straight onto the bench because Richie Gray is not available this week through concussion.

“Richie’s injured so he’s not available,” explained head coach Gregor Townsend. “He’s going through his graduated return to play which was delayed but I think he has now got on to stage three.

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“He’s back iun our camp tonight [Thursday] and everything being well he should be able to start full training next week, so fingers crossed he’ll be available next week.

“It’s an opportunity for Glen [Young], who impressed so much in the summer that we kept him for the Test series which wasn’t the original plan, and he came off the bench in the third Test. He’s obviously competing with our two starting second-rows, Grant and Sam, at his club but we know he can add something different off the bench this weekend.”

Dave Cherry is preferred to George Turner at hooker. “It was a very tight call,” said Townsend. “George stayed out an extra week in South Africa – Glasgow had a couple of injury issues – so that probably counted against him. And it was obviously disappointing for George that they didn’t play, but no-one’s going to predict that.

“Dave played very well for us in the second Test against Argentina. He’s a really consistent performer and I think he’s been on great form for Edinburgh – real explosivity as well as consistency.

“I think George has been in good form too. It was an interesting challenge they [Glasgow] had against the Sharks [a fortnight ago] with the line-out issues they faced, but it was a great learning game for them. Physically George is in a really good place and I’m sure he’ll get his opportunity throughout this campaign.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Ritchie captaining the side for the first time [he co-captained the team against Tonga last year] from blindside flanker.

The players in the squad attached to non-Scottish clubs are not available for this match as it is being played outside World Rugby’s international window.


Scotland (v Australia at Murrayfield, Saturday @ 5.30pm): O Smith; D Graham, M Bennett, S Tuipulotu, D van der Merwe; B Kinghorn, A Price (VC); P Schoeman, D Cherry, Z Fagerson, S Skinner, G Gilchrist (VC), J Ritchie©, H Watson, M Fagerson. Substitutes: G Turner, J Bhatti, W Nel, G Young, J Dempsey, G Horne, R Thompson, D Hoyland.

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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Interested to see how Bennett and Tuipulotu go together in the centres, both have been on great form so far this season. Would also have liked to have seen Horne start at 9 as he’s been the form scrum half for me at club level of late.

  2. I am not a fan of the Dempsey selection. Smacks of using a loophole to take advantage of a policy intended to support Tier 2 nations.

    • Probably what World Rugby should have said is you can change eligibility by dropping down a tier but not by switching within tiers. That’s roughly what the rules are in rugby league i.e. can’t switch between the ‘Big 3’. But the rules are what they are so good luck to Dempsey – he’s earned his place and didn’t know about the future rule change when he moved here.

  3. I reckon the paltry number of replies to the the post at the start of the Autumn tests shows a certain level of fed upness.

  4. That’s the problem with arranging a match outside the international window, you lose all the Anglo’s. Not sure if it’s still a good idea. However here we are, with a majority Edinburgh and Glasgow select. Feels a bit like a 70’s district v/s visiting tourist team game and they rarely ended well for the district. The most interesting part of the game for me will be our back three Fagerson, Watson Ritchie back together again and with Dempsey coming on later.
    For you guys who like nostalgia here is the highlights of the 1979 Edinburgh District game v/s the All Blacks at Myreside “I know cause I was there”.

    • Nice video – from the days when scrums started on the move and were never reset and line outs with no gaps and no lifters. No static rucks And of course the dive pass from the scrum half – these were the days.

    • Great video, thanks for posting.
      Some great names in the Edinburgh line up but still looked to struggle against an aggressive rushing defence. Not sure we’ve solved that one yet.

  5. Tuipoloto has been playing well for Glasgow at 13. He doesn’t often play 12 as he doesn’t have great distribution skills.
    Kinghorn also doesn’t have great short distribution skills.
    I foresee lots of loopy passes from Kinghorn to try to get the wingers on the ball by missing out the centres.
    This will lead to lots of dropped balls whilst always making an interception a likely outcome.

    • Unless I’ve missed it, Kinghorn hasn’t been intercepted in the year and a half he’s been playing at 10. There’s always a first time, I suppose but with all these ‘loopy passes ‘ he throws, isn’t it funny that hasn’t happened more often 😄

  6. Sadly without the non-scots based players I think we are in for a very torrid time. This is a better Aussie team than they fielded in the Championship.

  7. Only my opinion but the (comparatively) lightweight and 2 boys 6ft ish (Ritchie 6ft 4in), meaning again a disadvantage at the back out the line out.
    Crosbie a big aggressive 6ft 5in laddie.
    Turner had an absolute nightmare last timenout.
    Again not sure why R Gray in the squad if him (as best linenout option) is not chosen even with Cummings out.
    However given the squad its about as good as we have.
    If we get quick ball/space we will win.

    • Richie is injured (head injury protocols) I think these days lock is one of our weakest positions – as well as lack of depth in the centre – would like to have see Redpath and Bennett as centre combo next week. No kickers in the team is huge – Horne has been kicking really well for Glasgow and would have included him instead of price.

  8. Meh. Meh feel about this to be honest. messy almost. Between the Glasgow/Edinburgh handicap to the former wallaby lining up in blue against his former mates in gold, to the ever growing question of ego over form from the gaffer, to a 15 shoved in at 10 under the assurance of “hes getting better fans i promise!”. looking at where we are at present, not a million miles away from a world cup its not looking good. id love to be wrong, my emotions have been twisted, lifted and shifted by those in a thistle and those in ties at Murrayfield through years of sitting in the cold plastic seat in the west stand. Undercooked, inexperienced and chucked together my votes for the new slogan – asone doesn’t seem as truthful at time of writing. that being said, ill be there with a pint and scarf on as I and we always are, desperately optimistic but ultimately with the weight of the inevitable. time for change is now, or perhaps was back in February, that ship has sailed though and russell is standing on the pier with a bag of chips and a beret on watching it sail away, not unhapy that its drier where he is. see you all Saturday #AsOne??

  9. I see from the above that Cummings is listed in the starting 16 as a 3rd second row player even though he is no longer in the squad. I suppose one way to increase the chances of winning is to field 16 players ! No real surprises given the need to chose players only from the Warriors and Edinburgh. Slightly surprised that Cherry starts ahead of Turner.

  10. No surprises, apart from maybe Cherry in front of Turner – perhaps GT not fully recovered from the SA bug – but DC’s form has been good for Edinburgh. If we get a fair share of good ball to play off, we could be in with a good shout for a win.
    A lot may depend on the choice of ref and the many varied interpretations that brings – need to smart enough to adapt quickly if required.

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