AUSTRALIA’s Andrew Kellaway believes it will feel very strange if he finds himself up against old team-mate Jack Dempsey on Saturday, but says he is fully supportive of the former Wallabies forward’s decision to switch allegiance.

Glasgow Warriors player Dempsey turned out 14 times for his native Australia between 2017 and 2019, but is now eligible to play for Scotland thanks to World Rugby’s new three-year rule about representing a second country. Asked yesterday if it would feel weird to see Dempsey on the opposite side at BT Murrayfield, Kellaway replied: “Absolutely. Jack and I started at the Waratahs together, and before that we were playing for Gordon in the under-10s together.

“So short answer, yes. Long answer, look, I’m really happy on a personal note for Jack, a close friend of mine who I think is a fantastic footballer. Whilst I’d love to be sharing a Wallaby jersey with Jack, on a slightly more selfless note I’m really, really happy for him that he’s found where he’s happy and where he’s performing and he’s been given an opportunity based on that.”

Kellaway, who played at full-back in his team’s narrow defeat by Scotland last year, admitted to being surprised by Finn Russell’s omission from the home squad for the Autumn Nation Series. “Yeah, massively,” he replied. “Finn Russell is a pretty special footballer. I’m sure they’ve got their reasons for leaving him out, but it’s maybe not the worst thing for us.”

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend can only select home-based players for this game and will therefore be without the likes of Stuart Hogg as well as Russell. Nevertheless, Kellaway insisted he still expected a tough fight at a venue he feels has a very special atmosphere.

“Does it strengthen our chances? I don’t think so. It’s a Test match and whoever Scotland pick will be up to the task. No Finn Russell means a chance for somebody else. No Stuart Hogg exactly the same. We’re about to go and play a Test match against the best 23 blokes that they can pick, and those blokes will almost certainly be up for it.

“As far as I’m concerned, Murrayfield is one of the top three rugby venues in the world for a Test match. It’s such a unique atmosphere, I think, when you start talking about bagpipes being involved and that sort of stuff. So super-pumped just to experience that, whether I’m in the team or not.”