Rugby-Australia’s Kellaway says players must ‘front up’ against Scotland

(Reuters) – Australia back Andrew Kellaway said it was up to the players to show improved performances after nine defeats in 12 tests over the last year, and they could start by beating recent bogey side Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Australia’s victories in 2022 have come against England, South Africa and Argentina, but the weight of defeats has placed increasing pressure on coach Dave Rennie less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup in France.

“The players need to front up, for sure. I haven’t seen Dave Rennie miss a tackle yet,” Kellaway told reporters from the team’s hotel near Lyon, where they will be based at next year’s global championship.

“That’s a no-brainer. I can’t really add more meat to that bone but we have to front up more, there’s no doubt.”

Australia take on a Scotland team who have won the last three meetings between the sides, including a 15-13 victory at Murrayfield this time last year.

“Last year was a tough hit out for us,” Kellaway said. “Defensively, I think Scotland fronted up more than we did and the challenge this year is, first game off the plane (from Australia), to be able to hit the ground running.”

The Wallabies meet France, Italy, Ireland and Wales on consecutive Saturdays after their Scotland test, a punishing schedule but one that will give them a good idea of where they are ahead of the World Cup.

“We’ve spoken a lot about how it’s a long tour with five games but the important part is to treat each match on its merits,” Kellaway said.

“If we start worrying about (what is happening) down the track, then we’re probably not putting ourselves in the best spot to perform.”

The 27-year-old is, at least, looking forward to returning to one of his favourite stadiums on Saturday.

“As far as I’m concerned, Murrayfield’s in the top three rugby venues in the world for a test match.

“It’s such a such a unique atmosphere, as you would expect when you start talking about bagpipes being involved and all that sort of stuff.”

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