Scotland flanker Al Strokosch aims to disrupt Wallabies

Media playback is not supported on this device

Interview: Scotland flanker Al Strokosch

Australia v Scotland

Venue:
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales
Date:
Tuesday, 5 June
Kick-off:
10:30 BST, 19:30 local time
Coverage:
Score updates on BBC Sport website and BBC Radio Scotland, live on Sky Sports 1

Flanker Alasdair Strokosch believes Scotland are primed to knock Australia out of their stride when the teams meet in New South Wales on Tuesday.

The Wallabies Test on Tuesday is followed by matches against Fiji and Samoa as Scotland seek to ease the memory of a winless Six Nations.

"We've got a plan," said Perpignan-bound Strokosch, 29.

"We've got to disrupt them, push them out their comfort zone and impose ourselves on them."

The Scotland number six told BBC Scotland that training had been "brilliant" in the past week and that the squad are "very confident" they can affect how Australia play the game.

Scotland beat Australia 9-8 at Murrayfield when the teams last met, in 2009. The Wallabies have only two players - scrum-half Will Genia and hooker Stephen Moore - left from the starting line-up of that match, while Andy Robinson has retained six.

Dutch-born Tim Visser is not eligible for selection until the second Test, against Fiji on 16 June, but the inclusion in the squad of players with his ability to pierce the back line is a boost, Strokosch believes.

"We haven't been blessed with a lot of attacking players over the years but we've got a few of them coming through now," he said.

"If you can balance that out with players like myself to try to give them a platform and give them quick ball to play with, then we should do well."

The Gloucester flanker, from East Kilbride, explained his role in the team.

"I'll play my normal way, make as many tackles as I can, try to be physical, get through as much work as I can, disrupting opposition teams," he added.

"It's something I thrive on and enjoy. I like to lead us in that department, it's something I take a lot of pride in and I look forward to it.

"If you want to put yourself on the line, if you want to hurt someone else more than they can hurt you, you've got to work hard to be as strong and explosive as you can.

"There is a lot of physical work that goes into it but a lot of it is mental."

Meanwhile, Joe Ansbro, who will play on the wing for Scotland, is expecting a difficult match in Newcastle.

"Playing Australia is going to be a very good challenge, tougher than any game we have played defensively," he said.

"Australia are consistently a top-three side, top-two most of the time.

"They are exactly what we need to challenge our defence. They play an attacking game so there should be opportunities for us to attack and counter-attack from turnover ball.

"We are looking forward to it and think it should be an enjoyable game."

With James Horwill injured, Australia coach Robbie Deans has turned to flanker David Pocock to captain a team that will feature five new caps but which still has plenty of experience.

The Wallabies squad is emphasised by players from Super 15 champions Queensland, though fly-half Quade Cooper is not fit enough to play - Berrick Barnes takes his place.

But the Scots' defence is likely to be severely tested by the new-look back division, which includes Mike Harris and Joseph Tomane, two New Zealand-born converts from rugby league who have both been in inspirational form this season.

Harris will take over the kicking duties.

Top Stories