Preview: Scotland v Australia

Scotland will be looking to do a rare double over Australia when the sides meet at Murrayfield on Saturday in what is sure to be a thriller.

It won't be an easy task against a Wallabies outfit certainly in far better shape than they were in that 24-19 defeat in Sydney.

The Wallabies were shocked in the June internationals and were even given an almighty scare by the Italians. This prompted head coach Michael Cheika to instigate a four-week training camp prior to the start of the Rugby Championship focusing on physical and mental conditioning.

After getting 60 put on them by the All Blacks in their first Rugby Championship encounter, Cheika's men bounced back with credible draws against the Springboks and a narrow 35-29 defeat to the All Blacks in which they were leading two minutes from time only for World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett to score a last-gasp game-clinching try.

And in the third and final Bledisloe match of the year the Wallabies' comeback was finally complete when they broke their 15-match winless run against the All Blacks.

They followed this up with a convincing victory over Wales but were brought crashing down to earth with a 30-6 defeat against England at Twickenham last Saturday.

Scotland, meanwhile, are coming off the back of an admirable 22-17 defeat to the All Blacks in which they almost snatched a late victory were it not for a great piece of last-ditch defending by that man Barrett again on Stuart Hogg.

The Scots have enjoyed a massive two years and even British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland admitted that it was tough on Scotland who he felt were unlucky not to have more representation in the squad named to tour New Zealand.

Groundbreaking wins over Wales and Ireland in the Six Nations shows the axis of power is slowly shifting in British rugby with Scotland closing the gap on their counterparts quite significantly.

And if that win over the Wallabies in June didn't make the rugby world sit up and take notice, it certainly made the Aussies wary of the threat the Scots pose ahead of what should be a great game at Murrayfield.

Players to watch:

For Scotland: Keep a eye on Stuart Hogg who is in brilliant form. If he is able to make the right decisions from full-back he can be a thorn in the opposition defence with his sheer pace, power and ability to run excellent lines.

For Australia: Will Genia has been terrific for the Wallabies since making his return from France. The 29-year-old could just be at the peak of his powers and seems to be an even better player than the one who departed Aussie shores.

Head-to-head: Both sides will be looking to gain the ascendancy in the midfield battle. Tevita Kuridrani will go head-to-head with Huw Jones at outside centre and whoever is able to break the line with more regularity is set to win the contest for their respective sides. Kuridrani and Jones are definitely their sides' go-to strike runners.

Previous results:

2017: Scotland won 24-19 in Sydney
2016: Australia won 23-22 in Edinburgh
2015: Austalia won 35-34 in London
2013: Australia won 21-15 in Edinburgh
2012: Scotland won 9-6 in Newcastle, Australia
2009: Scotland won 9-8 in Edinburgh
2006: Australia won 44-15 in Edinburgh
2004: Australia won 31-17 in Glasgow

Prediction: What a game we have in prospect. It promises to go right down to the wire but we're just backing Australia to win by 3.

The teams:

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (c), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Darryl Marfo
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Byron McGuigan

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ben McCalman, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Karmichael Hunt, 23 Henry Speight

Date: Saturday, November 25
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)