Allan Dell: Scotland prop hopes for 'third time lucky' against Australia

Allan Dell made his Scotland debut against Australia at Murrayfield in 2016
Dell made his Scotland debut against Australia at Murrayfield in 2016

Scotland prop Allan Dell is hoping for a case of third time lucky against Australia after two defeats by a point.

The Wallabies beat the Scots in controversial circumstances at the 2015 World Cup and Dell made his debut in a 23-22 loss at Murrayfield last year.

"You could see how hurt the boys were after the last two losses," said Dell ahead of Saturday's Test in Sydney.

"I feel, as a squad, we have grown since those games. We've developed a lot, we've learned a lot."

The South African-born loose-head, 25, reckons Scotland are better for those experiences but acknowledges playing the Wallabies in Sydney will be a massive challenge.

"Hopefully this time it's third time lucky," Dell told BBC Scotland. "We both play similar styles of rugby. It will be a fantastic game.

"The Aussies have got a certain way of playing, but we can't just read from the computer analysis, because they'll spring something completely different.

"They've always come through with new game-plans and things to try out. It's about reading the game and playing it as it is."

The Scots earned victory in Gregor Townsend's first game as head coach, with a 34-13 triumph over Italy in Singapore last Saturday.

Dell's front-row colleague, hooker Ross Ford, scored two of Scotland's five tries, with fellow prop and compatriot WP Nel making his Test return after a season plagued by neck injuries.

Kelso veteran Ford will equal Chris Paterson's national record of 109 caps, should he feature against the Wallabies.

"We played well but there's room for more progress," Dell said of the performance. "We're all still finding our feet under Gregor.

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'We have grown from tough losses against Australia'

"It is incredibly important to have a player of WP's calibre and stature back. He'll be rusty but the more minutes we give him, the better it is for Scotland.

"The younger ones like Zander Fagerson and D'arcy Rae can learn from his experience. Knowing you have a solid man like that at tight-head is a huge boost.

"[Ford]'s a brilliant leader and mentor. He's been through it all and he's a fantastic ambassador for Scottish rugby.

"Chris Paterson is a legend and we know when Fordy retires people will speak of him in the same way."

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