Monday, 4 June 2012
Scotland playmaker Greig Laidlaw is taking no comfort from Berrick Barnes' mediocre form for the slumping NSW Waratahs as he prepares to go head-to-head with the Wallabies No.10 in Newcastle on Tuesday night.
Barnes is part of a Wallabies side featuring six debutants and several players backing up from the weekend's Super Rugby action.
But despite the Wallabies likely to keep some powder dry for their clash with Wales four days later, Laidlaw insists the Scots don't feel disrespected by Australia.
The seven-cap five-eighth said the Wallabies are within their rights to rest players and believes Barnes is a danger man in this situation.
"The 'Tahs have been struggling a little bit with their form so he can come in now with the Wallabies and maybe
that will refresh him and he'll be able to push on from there," said Laidlaw, who dismissed the notion that Australia are vulnerable.
"He's a quality player and we'll need to be on guard to keep him under wraps (on Tuesday) evening.
"The way the season has panned out with the Super Rugby program it's quite tough and the players who have come in are top quality players and I'm sure they deserve their place in the Wallaby team."
Laidlaw has fond memories watching on when Scotland upset Australia 9-8 at Murrayfield in 2009, but in more recent times the 26-year-old was part of the side's embarrassing last-start Six Nations loss to Italy.
The knives have been out for Andy Robinson's side since they came last in the Six Nations, and while Laidlaw believes Scotland can cause another upset over Australia, he said they can only restore pride on the field.
"Talk is cheap. We definitely have a point to prove," he said.
"It's about going out on the pitch and it's about proving we're a good team and it's the only way we can go about doing it.
"We've talked a lot about reigniting the passion for Scotland and that's something we'll try and do on this tour."
Scotland have made six changes since their loss to Italy, with prop Ryan Grant to make his debut in a team largely unfamiliar to Australian fans.
The tourists will look to experienced halfback Mike Blair and captain Ross Ford to lead the way.
Check out our FREE full form
, ratings for meetings in nine countries each and every day.