Where to watch

Australia vs Scotland kicks off at 4pm BST on Sunday 17 October. Live coverage is available on ITV HD and BBC Radio 5 Live.


Of the northern vs southern hemisphere duels in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, Australia and Scotland's meeting at Twickenham is perhaps the most one-sided on paper. The Scots have won just two of the pair's meetings stretching back over the past 30 years, and though their recent record is good it is hard to see past the dominant Wallabies.

Michael Chieka's side went from contenders to near-favourites in the space of seven second-half minutes against Wales last weekend. Reduced to 13-men, Wales appeared certain to breach their narrow lead by Australia kept them at bay in one of the great defensive displays seen in the Rugby World Cup.

They continue to be led by the brilliant Bernard Foley, arguably the player of the pool stage and his nerveless demeanor from the floor means Australia have some substance behind their free-flowing attacking game. The bruising encounter with the Welsh means they will be without two key players in the form of Israel Folau and David Pocock but there are able replacements waiting in the wings.

Greg Laidlaw
Laidlaw must play the role of match-winner again if Scotland are to shock Australia. Getty Images

The question is will the physical effects of the win over Wales, which saw them avoid a meeting with world champions New Zealand until at least the final, undermine them against Scotland? Vern Cotter's side, who have been boosted by the overturning of Mike Ross and Jonny Gray's three-week bans, edged through to the last eight after overcoming Samoa in a thrilling game, proving they can prevail in an open contest.

Whether Scotland's open style, which worked in flashes in the pool stage in the second halves of wins over Japan and USA can pay off against a higher standard of opponent is perhaps the key to the game. Nevertheless, Greg Laidlaw has been imperious for Cotter's side and is pivotal to any hopes of a shock. The Gloucester half-back kicked the winning drop goal to beat Australia in 2012 and will be relied upon to produce similar heroics.


Australia: 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Matt Giteau, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Will Genia; 1. Scott Sio, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Kane Douglas, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Ben McCalman.

Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. James Slipper, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Dean Mumm, 20. Sean McMahon, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Quade Cooper.

Scotland: 15. Stuart Hogg 14. Sean Maitland 13. Mark Bennett 12. Peter Horne 11. Tommy Seymour 10. Finn Russell 9. Greig Laidlaw; 1. Alasdair Dickinson 2. Fraser Brown 3. WP Nel 4. Tim Swinson 5. Richie Gray 6. Blair Cowan 7. John Hardie 8. Dave Denton

Replacements: 16. Kevin Bryce 17. Gordon Reid 18. Jon Welsh 19. Alasdair Strokosch 20. Josh Strauss 21. Henry Pyrgos 22. Richie Vernon 23. Sean Maitland

What the coaches say

Michael Cheika: "I've seen a lot of the Scottish players say they can win and they can. They can. That's the reality of sport. There's two teams on the field, one's going to win.

"What we need to do is make sure our mindset is really clear on what we're prepared to do to get that victory. We don't think we are [favourites]. No one was saying that about us however many months ago it was. Things aren't that different, it's a day to day proposition.

"What happens on the day between the two teams over 80 minutes, the intent, the effort, the work rate, the preparedness to go through the pain. All those other memories are things you flick over when you're looking back or you're watching the TV show showing the history of something."

Vern Cotter
Can Cotter\'s team produce the perfect performance they have been threatening? Getty Images

Vern Cotter: "It's always nice to be part of the final eight of any qualifying competition, the guys are very excited about being here. We will go into this game with the belief that we can compete with and dominate a very strong Australian team, and move forward to the last four.

"They are a front-foot momentum team so defence will be key but also getting our hands on the ball and expressing ourselves as we like to. I'd like to hold them back and stop them getting over that advantage line or getting any momentum. They're favourites not only to beats us but to go on and win the World Cup. They're in a pretty comfortable position.

"Once we get a hand on the ball we need to be effective and score points every time. We know they're a team who are at their most dangerous at the end of the game. They've pulled away from good teams right at the end, so any minor lack of concentration and we'll pay the price.

"The focus is getting a grip on them. We'll play our game but stay with it for 80 minutes. It's going to be right to the end. We'd like to think if we start well we can keep with them."

Other fixtures

1pm: Ireland vs Argentina (Millennium Stadium)