Mendoza - Australia hope to build on the momentum created by a dramatic
triumph over South Africa when they meet Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday in a
Rugby Championship second-round Test.
A try by centre Tevita Kundrani after the siren signalling full-time sounded
earned the Wallabies a 24-20 win against the Springboks in Brisbane last
Victory for an Australian side that trailed by 13 points during the second
half came a day after title-holders New Zealand overcame Argentina 39-18 in
Christchurch in the other first-round game.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made seven changes - three forced by
injuries - for the match at the 40 000-seat Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in the
Injured centre Matt Giteau, wing Rob Horne and scrumhalf Will Genia are
replaced by Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane and Nick Phipps respectively.
An additional backline change sees Bernard Foley recalled to the starting
line-up at flyhalf in place of Quade Cooper.
In the pack, a good showing by tighthead prop Greg Holmes when he came on as
a replacement against South Africa earns him a start with Sekope Kepu dropping
to the bench.
David Pocock takes over from fellow flank Michael Hooper and Ben McCalman
has been picked at No 8 ahead of Scott Higginbotham.
Apart from the injury-induced changes, some are rotational and others form
related with Higginbotham failing to replicate last weekend many outstanding
Super 15 displays.
"We are fortunate with the level of depth in the squad," said
Cheika, who steered the Waratahs to the 2014 Super 15 title.
"All those promoted to the starting line-up against the Pumas are there
on merit and have opportunities to build on what we achieved last weekend.
"We have fine playmakers in Bernard (Foley) and Quade (Cooper) and both
can make an enormous impact."
Cooper is among the eight replacements. Another substitute, utility back
Kurtley Beale, will win his 50th cap if he comes on.
Cheika believes it will take a 23-man effort to avenge a 21-17 loss to
Argentina last season in Mendoza after the visitors built an early 14-point
"Argentina will provide a physical challenge and our reserves have significant
roles to play.
"The bench got us home against the Springboks last weekend and I will
be looking for an even greater impact from our replacements this
Saturday," stressed Cheika.
Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has also made seven changes after a mixed
outing against world champions New Zealand.
He will have been encouraged by the pack power that created two driving-maul
tries for hooker and skipper Agustin Creevy, but leading 2014 Rugby
Championship points scorer Nicolas Sanchez flopped at flyhalf.
Sanchez gets a chance to redeem himself against Australia and Santiago
Cordero, switched from left-wing to full-back, is the only other back to
Out go injured fullback Joaquin Tuculet, right wing Horacio Agulla, centres
Marcelo Bosch and Jeronimo de la Fuente, and scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli.
And in come wingers Gonzalo Camacho and Juan Imhoff, centres Matias Moroni
and Juan Pablo Socino and scrum-half Martin Landajo.
Forward changes see lock Tomas Lavanini and flank Javier Ortega Desio
replace Guido Petti Pagadizabal and Juan Manuel Leguizamon.
Tradition is against the Pumas as they have not achieved successive
victories against the Wallabies since their first meeting 36 years ago.
15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Gonzalo
Camacho, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Juan
Pablo Socino, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8
Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Javier Ortega Desio,
5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy
(captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza
Substitutes: 16 Santiago Iglesias
Valdez, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Matias Diaz, 19 Matias Alemanno,
20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias,
23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino
Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt
Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ben McCalman, 7
David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Greg
Holmes, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 James Slipper
Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dean Mumm, 20
Michael Hooper, 21 Nic White, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Kurtley Beale