Laidlaw Scotland skipper aims to right Wallaby wrongs

Scotland have not met the Wallabies since Australia's 35-34 victory at Twickenham in October last year.

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Scotland's full back Stuart Hogg (L) and captain and scrum half Greig Laidlaw celebrate being awarded a penalty during their Six Nations rugby union match against France, at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, in March 2016 play

Scotland's full back Stuart Hogg (L) and captain and scrum half Greig Laidlaw celebrate being awarded a penalty during their Six Nations rugby union match against France, at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, in March 2016

(AFP/File)
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Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw will have the chance to put the family record straight when his team set out to avenge their controversial World Cup quarter-final defeat by Grand Slam-seeking Australia at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland have not met the Wallabies since Bernard Foley's 79th minute penalty -- which South African referee Craig Joubert later confessed had been incorrectly-awarded -- secured a 35-34 victory for Australia at Twickenham in October last year.

Thirteen months later, Australia, having emerged from their disappointing Rugby Championship campaign with an accomplished attacking performance in their 32-8 win against Wales last Saturday, will be confident of taking a second step towards emulating the celebrated Grand Slam-touring Wallabies of 32 years ago.

Back in 1984, a swaggering Australia side coached by Alan Jones, captained by Andrew Slack and featuring the goose-stepping wing David Campese and the brilliant fly-half Mark Ella, completed a clean sweep of victories against the four 'Home Unions' (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales) with a stunning 37-12 win against a Scotland side captained by Laidlaw's uncle, Roy Laidlaw.

Last weekend, the current Australia side scored five tries against Wales -- the same number as they managed in that contentious one-point win over the Scots at Twickenham last year.

Don't look back

Australia's hooker and captain Stephen Moore passes the ball during a training session in Cardiff, on November 4, 2016 play

Australia's hooker and captain Stephen Moore passes the ball during a training session in Cardiff, on November 4, 2016

(AFP/File)

"We can't concede five tries again or we'll make it extremely difficult for ourselves," said scrum-half Laidlaw, who will move from Gloucester in the English Premiership to join French Top 14 side Clermont in June. "We need to be really tight in our defence, really tight in our driving maul, our forward play, so we're not giving away cheap points."

Asked whether his team would be on a revenge mission, Laidlaw replied: "Nothing will ever make up for that defeat. We can use what happened in the World Cup to help us, but we need to stay in the moment. We'll never get that game back. We need to put our energy into the performance rather than looking back."

Australia, coached by Michael Cheika and captained by hooker Stephen Moore, travel to Paris to play France a week on Saturday before returning to the British Isles for the last two matches of their tour, against Ireland and England. Not that they are getting swept away with Grand Slam fever, despite their flying start in Cardiff.

"It was a nice way to start our tour but we've got a really tough test against Scotland," Moore cautioned.

In-form fly-half Foley added: "We're just thinking about a day at a time, a game at a time, and trying to improve as the tour goes on."

Scotland's New Zealand head coach Vern Cotter (L) arrives on the pitch ahead of their Six Nations rugby union match against France, at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, in March 2016 play

Scotland's New Zealand head coach Vern Cotter (L) arrives on the pitch ahead of their Six Nations rugby union match against France, at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, in March 2016

(AFP/File)

Cheika has made just one change to the starting XV that dominated Wales in Cardiff, Will Genia replacing Nick Phipps at scrum-half after being released from club duty by Paris-based Stade Francais.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter, who will join Montpellier in June when Gregor Townsend moves from Glasgow Warriors as his successor with the national side, is without injured props WP Nel and Alasdair Dickinson.

Edinburgh's Allan Dell makes his debut at loosehead and Glasgow's Zander Fagerson makes his first start, after one appearance off the bench.

In the back row, openside flanker Hamish Watson, who has impressed with Edinburgh this season, takes over from John Hardie, while at outside centre Huw Jones of the Stormers wins his second cap.

Hooker Ross Ford makes his 100th appearance, becoming Scotland?s third cap centurion, after Chris Paterson and Sean Lamont.

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