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Australia v Scotland: Rugby World Cup – live | Rugby League World Cup 2021

Key events

The teams come out. It’s not exactly a packed house in Coventry. In fact, it’s quite empty.

Those present will observe a minute of silence for Liam Hampson.

What time it is. Nathan clearlyperhaps the best player in the world, makes his debut.

His coach, Mal Malinga, says Clearly is ready to play “the game of his life”. He lit up the NRL at half-back, guiding the Penrith Panthers to the title. It starts tonight. Is this the start of a dynastic career in green and gold?

If you look at the Beeb, you just saw a nice segment on Josh Addo Carr, probably the fastest eman of the competition. He was electric against the Fijians on the left wing. His grandfather was a professional boxer and he spoke of the challenges of Indigenous athletes struggling for recognition and the responsibility he feels to represent his community.

It’s easy to overplay this stuff, but it really warms the heart when professional players acknowledge their role model status.

A late change for Scotland due to illness

Our best guess is that it is Hull’s Sam Luckley who is missing. Enter Guy Graham with Scotland playing in the strip of yellow modified with just a hint of blue tartan. it’s pretty cool, to be fair.

Scotland: Alex Walker, Lachlan Walmsley, Ben Hellewell, Kiaran Buchanan, Matty Russell, Bailey Hayward, Calum Gahan, Logan Bayliss-Brow, Liam Hood, Jack Teanby, Euan Aitken, Kane Linnett, James Bell

Exchange: Kyle Schneider, Luke Bain, Guy Graham, Dale Ferguson.

This is the first meeting between Australia and Scotland in the World Cup. I thought you should know.

Aussies ring the changes

There are six starters for the Kangaroos tonight. Matt Burton, Campbell Graham, Natham Clearly, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo don the green and gold for the first time and depart for Australia. Lindsay Collins will start from the bench.

Australia: James Tedesco (cap), Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Jack Wighton, Campbell Graham, Cameron Munster, Nathan Clearly, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Harry Grant, Patrick Carrigan, Angus Crichton, Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo.

Exchange: Ben Hunt, Lindsay Collins, Valentine Holmes, Jack Trbojevic

Are you upset about the lack of gardening tonight? You’re not alone. Monty is less than thrilled that the football is on.

Monty, if you’re reading this, welcome. I hope you find comfort in my ramblings.

Gardeners World airs tonight at 9pm – moved by the inscrutable (and often downright baffling) BBC programmers to set up a rugby union match between Scotland and Australia. Do what you want with it, but don’t miss the main event at 9pm on BBC2 tonight.

— Monty Don (@TheMontyDon) October 20, 2022

This one isn’t for Aussies or Scots, but it’s a cracking thread worth your time while you settle in.

Gavin Willacy explores the off-pitch lives of Jake Colovatti and Radean Robinson, two caregivers who also play a bit of soccer for Italy.

Trust me. You want to read this.


Daniel Gallain

Daniel Gallain

Hello and welcome to second round of the rugby world cup. On paper, this should be a gift for the world champions. But the match is not played on paper, and Scottish striker Euan Aitken encouraged his comrades to “fight a little”. They will need a little Braveheart spirit to get the job done.

The Kangaroos were red in their first-round win over Fiji. There was rust in that 42-8 win, but they underlined their status as the best side in the world, picking up comfortable winners thanks to excellent play from their creative forces in midfield and quick wingers in the outside.

Scotland weren’t so lucky in their opening match of the competition. They were comprehensively beaten 28-4 by the Italians and will need to produce their greatest ever performance to come out on top tonight.

With Aitken, the Scots are backed by NRL veterans such as Kane Linnett and Ryan Brierly, but expecting them to battle against the 11-time winners is a big ask.

This game comes in the wake of the sudden death of Liam Hampson and the Kangaroos will no doubt be boosted by something more than national pride. Sport is rarely a cure for real-world ills, but it can act as a balm of sorts. Hampson, who was 24, would no doubt have wanted his compatriots to put on a show.

Not that Scotland is ruled by sentiment. Lose tonight and their tournament could be over. Lose badly, and it almost certainly will.

My name is Daniel. I’m buzzing for this one. If you too, write to me Twitter or send an e-mail. Glad to have you on board.

It all starts at 7.30pm UK time.


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