Scotland to face Australia in autumn with home-based players only - with intriguing Jack Dempsey scenario thrown up

Scotland will take on the All Blacks for the first time in five years when they welcome them to Murrayfield in November.

Scotland's Stuart Hogg is tackled by Beauden Barrett late in the game to be denied a try on New Zealand's last visit to Murrayfield in 2017. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

New Zealand are the star attraction of an Autumn Nations Series which will also includes matches in Edinburgh against Australia, Fiji and Argentina.

Scotland will face the Wallabies without their Exiles as the game is scheduled for Saturday, October 29 (kick-off 5.30pm), which falls outside the window for international fixtures.

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Clubs in England and France will retain their players for league games that weekend, meaning Gregor Townsend will have to select an entirely home-based squad as the Scots chase a fourth consecutive victory over the Aussies.

An intriguing subplot is that the match could see Jack Dempsey make his Scotland debut. The Glasgow Warriors No 8 has played 14 Test matches for Australia but will become eligible to represent Scotland in October, after World Rugby altered its eligibility laws.

Capped players are now allowed to transfer allegiance so long as they have spent the previous three years out of the international game and have “a close and credible link via birthright” to the country to which they are switching.

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Dempsey has a grandfather from Glasgow, and last played for Australia on October 11, 2019. He has yet to commit to Scotland and, of course, his selection will depend on Townsend but the player has made positive noises about switching.

Next up after the Wallabies is a visit from Fiji on Saturday, November 5 (1pm) in what will be the first meeting of the teams since 2018 when Tommy Seymour scored a hat-trick in a 54-17 win for Scotland.

The match with the All Blacks is on Sunday, November 13 (2.15pm) and will be the 32nd time the sides have met. Scotland are still seeking their first win over the three-time world champions but ran them close in 2017 before losing 22-17 in a match best remembered for Beauden Barrett’s last-gasp tackle on Stuart Hogg which prevented a certain try.

Scotland will close out the series against Argentina on Saturday, November 19 (3.15pm). It will be their fourth game of the year against the Pumas, with a three-Test summer tour scheduled for July.

The autumn Tests which will be broadcast on Amazon Prime.

Jack Dempsey could switch allegiance to Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
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