Genia takes scrum-half role from Phipps

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Will Genia has replaced Nick Phipps as Australia's starting scrum-half for their Test against Scotland on Saturday.

Phipps has impressed in the last two games against New Zealand and Wales, but Genia - one of the Wallabies' standouts in the Rugby Championship - has been given the nod for the meeting at Murrayfield.

The return of Dean Mumm from suspension has not prompted head coach Michael Cheika to change his back row, with Lopeti Timani now starting his third successive Test at number eight.

Mumm features on the bench along with Will Skelton, the latter hoping to feature in his first Test since August, while Tom Robertson takes James Slipper's spot among the replacements.

Phipps and full-back Israel Folau are in each in line to win their 50th caps.

"I think Phipps had two really good games, I do, against New Zealand then against Wales. But Genia, I thought he's been one of our best all season," Cheika said.

"I just feel that this is a good game for him [Genia] to play, come back in and get straight into it and then Nick will finish the game.

"I think Nick's standard has definitely gone up from what I saw earlier in the year and now there's a real competition going on there."

On Timani, Cheika added: "He's continually making me pick him.

"That's the issue - his performances have spoken for themselves. He's been consistent and that's all we can ask of the guy.

"He's doing lots of good tight work and also when he needs to carry he's carrying well.

"So I'd like to let him have an opportunity to run this form out and learn from that. He's only new, only his third or fourth Test.

"I want him to learn how to back up and play week-to-week in that atmosphere."

 

Australia team: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Lopeti Timani.

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Quade Cooper.