Scotland free from injury as they arrive in Sydney

Scotland Defence coach Matt Taylor has reported a clean bill of health after the Dark Blues arrived in Australia following Saturday's win over Italy in Singapore.

Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 6:30 am
Scotland's WP Nel enjoys a recovery session in the sea off Coogee Beach. Pic: Fotosport/David Gibson
Scotland's WP Nel enjoys a recovery session in the sea off Coogee Beach. Pic: Fotosport/David Gibson

Scotland were put through a light training session on Coogee Beach on the outskirts of Sydney and Taylor confirmed that aside from a few niggles the squad are in good shape after the 34-13 victory.

The Scots will face Australia in Sydney on Saturday and were happy with the performance in Gregor Townsend’s first game since taking over but realise the Wallabies, who beat Fiji 37-14 at the weekend, will be a totally different proposition.

“Everyone, at this stage, is eligible for selection,” said Australian-born Taylor. “Two days after a test, there were a number of guys with bumps and bruises, and the physios are looking at them, but nearly all look like they should be in a good position. There are no concerns at this stage.

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“As a coaching staff we were pleased with a lot of the work we did, particularly after Gregor Townsend and Dan McFarland had brought in a lot of new systems. The majority of our work was done well.

“There are certainly things you can work on, especially when you are up against a good team like Australia. We are going to have to improve in a lot of areas.

“If you look at Australia and how they played against Fiji then you can see that they are a brilliant attacking team. They also defended really well. Both sides of the ball they were really good.

“Right across the team, they are very good. You look at people like Israel Folau, who is a very influential team member for them and played really well. They certainly used him in attack very well, kicking the high ball to his wing.

“Scott Higginbotham is a really good player who I know really well; Will Genia played pretty well. Right across the board they showed they have skilful and dangerous players.

“We have had some really close tussles with Australia over the last few years and I would imagine this will be another one and I hope we can come out the right side of it this time.”

Taylor coached at Queensland before joining up with Scotland in 2012, a few months after the Scots won in Australia for the first time since 1982 with a 9-6 win in Newcastle.

He has yet to coach a Scotland side to beat the land of his birth, but with Australia winning the last two matches by a single point, he feels there is not much of a gap between the sides.

“I have played the Wallabies three times but they have all been in the UK, it will be a different feeling over here in Australia,” Taylor said.

“It is one that a lot of the boys are looking forward to, a lot of them have never been to Australia so they are all quite excited. We know it is going to be a really tough game.”