Stephen Moore Wallabies overlook captain for Scotland Test

Veteran Moore only made the bench in Australia's 37-14 win against Fiji last weekend and may not get that far in on Saturday.

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The Queensland Reds' Eto Nabuli (R) has been handed his Wallabies debut, against Scotland play

The Queensland Reds' Eto Nabuli (R) has been handed his Wallabies debut, against Scotland

(AFP/File)
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Wallabies captain Stephen Moore was overlooked for the second Test in a row on Thursday, as Eto Nabuli was handed his debut against a Scottish team making eight changes after last week's thumping win against Italy.

Veteran Moore only made the bench in Australia's 37-14 win against Fiji last weekend and may not get that far in Sydney on Saturday, with coach Michael Cheika saying he was in a fight with Tolu Latu to be among the reserves.

Nabuli, the Queensland Reds' Fijian-born winger, is the only change to the run-on side, after Henry Speight suffered a minor hamstring strain in his two-try performance against Fiji.

Rugby league convert Karmichael Hunt retains his place at inside centre after an encouraging debut last Saturday, with Michael Hooper again skippering the side.

Hooker Moore, who has played 118 Tests, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph Thursday that he isn't retiring and wants to be playing for the Wallabies at the 2019 World Cup.

The 34-year-old said the leadership shuffle was all part of Cheika's long-term strategy.

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has been overlooked for the second Test in a row play

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has been overlooked for the second Test in a row

(AFP/File)

"We have had a number of discussions about that going way back so it hasn't come out of nowhere. Those roles, they're fluid and they evolve over time," Moore said.

"I am really comfortable with how all that is panning out."

Cheika will be mindful that the Wallabies beat fifth-ranked Scotland by just one point in their previous two meetings and lost to them 9-6 in their last home encounter in 2012.

The Scots have been in scintillating form of late, beating Wales and Ireland during the Six Nations before defeating Italy 34-13 in Singapore last weekend.

Coach Gregor Townsend opted to make eight changes, picking an entirely new front row and back three.

He said it was a chance to blood different players.

"We're keen on this tour to make sure that players that are close to selection got an opportunity and a few of them got an opportunity last week and some do this week," he said, adding that it will be a tough game against Australia.

"Australia are one of the best teams in the world, so this will be a much tougher challenge than our game last week. The Wallabies DNA is about moving the ball and they have always been one of the best attacking teams in the game."

Lee Jones takes the place of Damien Hoyland on the wing to end a five-year absence from national duty, and is joined by Rory Hughes and fullback Greig Tonks.

Last week's front-row replacements were handed a chance to impress from the off, meaning Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown and Zander Fagerson all start.

Teams:

Australia (15-1): Israel Folau; Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Karmichael Hunt, Eto Nabuli; Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper (capt), Ned Hanigan; Adam Coleman, Sam Carter; Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson

Replacements to be announced Friday.

Scotland (15-1): Greig Tonks; Lee Jones, Alex Dunbar, Duncan Taylor, Rory Hughes; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, John Barclay (capt); Jonny Gray, Ben Toolis; Zander Fagerson, Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid.

Replacements: Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Willem Nel, Tim Swinson, Josh Strauss, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson, Matt Scott

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