The Wallabies may be forced to start 20-year-old Queensland rookie Chris Feauai-Sautia on the wing after a night out in Dublin cost Australia’s two incumbent wingers their spots against Scotland.
Coach Ewen McKenzie conceded he would have to be ‘‘creative’’ with selection for the fourth of five spring tour Tests after standing down Nick Cummins and Adam Ashley-Cooper for their involvement in a drunken night out last week.
Feauai-Sautia, 20, has been with the squad all tour but has not played since his debut off the bench against South Africa in the Rugby Championship match in Cape Town two months ago.
The Reds winger is now facing his first start in a gold jersey alongside Brumbies speedster Joe Tomane, unless McKenzie makes the unlikely call to move Israel Folau in from fullback instead.
Complicating matters is the prospect that outside centre Tevita Kuridrani will be banned for a period after being cited for a dangerous tackle in Australia’s 32-15 win against Ireland last week.
The man most likely to replace him was Ashley-Cooper, who will now be watching in his suit from the Murrayfield grandstand.
But McKenzie was not giving up hope in Edinburgh on Monday, saying he believed the Wallabies could make a case for Kuridrani to escape sanction.
‘‘There was a bunch of people involved in the tackle, there wasn’t just one guy. It was quite clear in the video,’’ he said.
‘‘There are other mitigating factors, too. The guy [Peter O’Mahony] wasn’t injured, the point of contact on the ground, there’s a whole lot of things we can talk about.
‘‘[Kuridrani] has got no track record at all, so there’s a whole lot of things there that will hopefully assist our cause.’’
Nevertheless, the upheaval does not help the Wallabies’ stated quest to go three-in-a-row this week.
The suspensions of prop Benn Robinson and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will slash selection options in the front row, and any plans McKenzie might have had to use two specialist No.7s will be in tatters with Liam Gill’s suspension. McKenzie announces the squad on Thursday.