Australia head coach Dave Rennie says he had concerns about Jack Dempsey’s physicality before the former Wallaby back-row headed north to join Glasgow Warriors last summer.

Dempsey, who was capped 14 times by Australia between June 2017 and October 2019, is set to make his Scotland debut against the country of his birth off the bench in tomorrow’s Autumn Test Series opener.

The switch in allegiance has been facilitated by World Rugby’s controversial new international eligibility rule, which allows capped players to throw their lot in with another which they have “a close and credible link via birth-right” to, so long as they complete a three-year cooling-off period.

Asked for his thoughts on Dempsey wearing the navy blue of Scotland this weekend, Rennie replied: “We’ve watched him closely while he’d been away and he’s certainly always been a really good athlete, great with ball in hand. We always felt he lacked a little bit of physicality. We gave him that feedback and I know he’s worked hard on that, and we’ve seen it prosper and blossom at Glasgow. He’s a really good player and I know he’ll be keen as to get among our boys, he knows a lot of them really well.”

Meanwhile, Wallaby legend Michael Hooper will make his international return in tomorrow evening’s Autumn Test Series opener against Scotland at Murrayfield tomorrow evening.

The 121-cap flanker missed Australia’s recent Rugby Championship campaign to take a mental-health break but is now back in a place where he feels he can give his best to the cause.

“He’s been outstanding both on and off the field since re-entering the environment and he can’t wait to pull on the gold jersey again,” said Rennie.

“We’ve had a great preparation and we’ll head to Murrayfield excited by the challenge Scotland will pose.”

Australia:  T Banks; A Kellaway, L Ikitau, H Paisami, T Wright; B Foley, T McDermott; J Slipper©, D Porecki, A Alaalatoa, N Frost, C Neville, J Holloway, M Hooper, R Valetini. Substitutes: F Fainga’a, M Gibbon, T Tupou, N Hanigen, P Samu, N White, N Lolesio, J Campbell.