Wallabies unchanged for Argentina clash

By Darren Walton, Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

 , , ,

38 Have your say

    Michael Cheika has revealed his World Cup hand as the Wallabies chase a successful conclusion to an otherwise rollercoaster Rugby Championship campaign.

    Cheika has named an unchanged starting XV for the first time in his three-year, 40-Test tenure for Sunday’s dead rubber against Argentina in Mendoza.

    While there’s no silverware on offer for the two sides, the Wallabies coach is urging his charges to step up in the countdown to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

    With less than two years remaining before the global showpiece, it’s more than halfway through the World Cup cycle and Cheika admits “it’s about now” that he’s seeking selection stability after introducing 11 newcomers to the Test arena in 2017.

    “I said before this campaign, the Rugby Championship, that the base is here now,” he said after naming the same run-on side that drew 27-27 with South Africa last weekend in Bloemfontein.

    The frustrating stalemate followed a 23-23 drew with the Springboks in Perth, a last-minute 35-29 loss to the All Blacks in Dunedin and 54-34 defeat at the hands of the rampant world champions in the tournament opener in Sydney.

    Australia’s only victory in the championship was a 45-20 win over the Pumas in Canberra, after they trailed 13-10 at halftime.

    With one match remaining, Cheika has given the Wallabies a pass mark but wants further improvement ahead of their third Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks in Brisbane in a fortnight.

    “It’s been strange. We started off the first 40 minutes (of the Rugby Championship) really poorly and since then we’ve been more than competitive,” he said.

    “Players are improving and we’ve got fitter, so we’re able to compete in games for longer and I’m pleased with the progression.

    “I would like to obviously have another couple of wins but I’m pleased with the progression considering where we started off in June and we’re looking to improve more before the year’s out.”

    After making a raft of changes before Australia’s last outing, Cheika has retained faith in his three starting debutants from Bloemfontein — winger Marika Koroibete, flanker Jack Dempsey and second-rower Izack Rodda.

    Lock Lukhan Tui has kept his bench spot after making his Wallabies debut against the Sprinboks.

    Prop Tetera Faulkner earns a recall three years after playing his second Test on the 2014 spring tour of Europe, in Cheika’s first month at the helm.

    Faulkner replaces Tom Robertson on the bench, with Ned Hanigan relegated as the Wallabies instead opt for winger Henry Speight as a backline replacement option.

    Wallabies team to face Argentina

    Israel Folau
    Marika Koroibete
    Tevita Kuridrani
    Kurtley Beale
    Reece Hodge
    Bernard Foley
    Will Genia
    Sean McMahon
    Michael Hooper (capt)
    Jack Dempsey
    Adam Coleman
    Izack Rodda
    Sekope Kepu
    Tatafu Polota-Nau
    Scott Sio

    Reserves: Stephen Moore, Tetera Faulkner, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Nick Phipps, Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight.

    © AAP 2018
    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (38)

    • October 6th 2017 @ 1:25pm
      Mr Tommo said | October 6th 2017 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

      No Hanigan??? What is this?

    • October 6th 2017 @ 1:36pm
      Terry said | October 6th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

      No Robertson??? What is this?

      • Roar Guru

        October 6th 2017 @ 9:57pm
        ThugbyFan said | October 6th 2017 @ 9:57pm | ! Report

        It must be Xmas, No Ned, No Tele-tubby Tommy!

        And isn’t it great that Tetera Faulkner finally has been recognised again, am amazed of a Force player usurping a Tah boy. Another Southern Districts Shute Shield alumnus who left the Tahs to succeed in another SR franchise. Faulkner won two test caps way back in 2014, but couldn’t hold his spot against good scrummagers like Greg Holmes, Sekope Kepu and James Slipper. He was playing pretty well in 2016, but about July he did his Archilles, which held him back till halfway through 2017. This is a reward for another of this year’s Force forwards that finished the SR season so well.

        I wish the bloke has a good game once he gets on the field.

        I read that the Pumas have two opensides, perhaps hoping to repeat how Scotland beat the WB back in June, but they don’t have the defence or fitness of the Scots. If the WB start well and get a fair share of the ball, they should win this game strongly.

        • Roar Rookie

          October 7th 2017 @ 11:16am
          Don said | October 7th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Playing 2 opensides hasn’t helped Australia. We’ve had the Pooper many times and have even gone the McPooper with 3 number 7s on at once.
          I still consider McMahon is a 7 not 6 or 8…

    • October 6th 2017 @ 2:13pm
      marto said | October 6th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

      Phipps is still reserve scrumhalf ?? What is this?

      • October 6th 2017 @ 5:48pm
        The Slow Eater said | October 6th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

        Ha ha. Good signs with no Robertson or Ned. Does anyone know what Arnold has done wrong? Be interesting to see what happens with the wingers when Sefa returns. Koroibete should only get better I would think.

    • Roar Guru

      October 6th 2017 @ 2:16pm
      Timbo (L) said | October 6th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      Dempsey and MacMahon are going to have their work cut out for them.

      The Pumas are running dual 7’s, both hard and fast men, the breakdowns are going to need quick protection and a likely clean out.

      • October 6th 2017 @ 2:29pm
        marto said | October 6th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

        Nice dig .. hehe

        • Roar Guru

          October 6th 2017 @ 5:32pm
          Timbo (L) said | October 6th 2017 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

          I am trying a different tack,
          Point out some of the other the skills needed to play #7 and then let others blame Hanigan for not having them.

      • Roar Guru

        October 7th 2017 @ 10:59am
        PeterK said | October 7th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        McMahon is weak at the ruck, poor in cleanouts and even worse at pilfers, a poor mans Hooper in fact

        • Roar Guru

          October 7th 2017 @ 11:42am
          Timbo (L) said | October 7th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          So you are saying Hooper is great at clean outs and ruck protection.

    • October 6th 2017 @ 3:07pm
      Dave_S said | October 6th 2017 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

      Tui being groomed as a 6/8 option

      • Roar Guru

        October 6th 2017 @ 5:35pm
        Timbo (L) said | October 6th 2017 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

        He has got the wrong Tui, unfortunately. The Wallabies will see him and Mafi on the other side of the scrum playing for Japan later this year.

        • Roar Rookie

          October 6th 2017 @ 7:26pm
          Dave_S said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

          Yes on form H Tui was a real contender for a WB 6 jumper. Anyway good luck to Japan.

          • October 7th 2017 @ 12:03am
            HiKa said | October 7th 2017 @ 12:03am | ! Report

            Hendrik Tui was a capped Japanese international before he signed for Queensland as an international marquee (salary cap exempted) player. He is apparently up to 40 caps since a 2012 debut. He was never any kind of contender for the Wallabies. And his passport says he’s from the wrong side of the Tasman Sea.

            • Roar Rookie

              October 7th 2017 @ 4:37pm
              Dave_S said | October 7th 2017 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

              yes I know, hence the “good luck to Japan” bit

    • Roar Pro

      October 6th 2017 @ 3:10pm
      Crazy Horse said | October 6th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

      So Cheika takes Billy Meakes, one of the Spirit’s key players away causing him to miss two matches then doesn’t play him. Not happy!

      • October 6th 2017 @ 4:10pm
        ethan said | October 6th 2017 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

        Seriously, you think he’s only going to take the 23 who are playing over? Blokes will complain about anything. You would have been crying foul if he wasn’t picked in the squad to begin with, citing a selection bias against WA or some such.

        • Roar Guru

          October 6th 2017 @ 5:24pm
          Timbo (L) said | October 6th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

          He sent Arnold back. Why not Curtis and Billy.

          That said, the last time I saw Billy play for the Spirit, I thought he looked leaner, meaner and better tactically. I think playing with the big boys has been very good for him and it has prepped him to be a star performer, sitting on the bench with Mack Mason, behind Beale and Foley, never to get a run at the Horrortahs…. no, wait…

          I hope the Rebs pick him up or he goes back to Gloucester where his skills will be valued.

          • October 6th 2017 @ 7:04pm
            ethan said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

            I don’t have the inner workings to Cheika’s mind, but obviously he can’t send everyone back. He’s not going to send blokes back just to help their NRC team, or he’d have no one left. I’m guessing it comes down partly to what personnel WBs need at training drills, and also whether he feels they benefit more from being in the WB training camp, or getting match time under their belt. As you suggest, maybe time with the WBs has been good for Billy. And I’m pretty sure picking him in the WB squad is valuing his skills far more highly than if he’d never been picked to start with…

            But thats beside the point anyway, as Crazy Horse wasn’t complaining about Cheika not sending Billy back. He was complaining about Cheika “taking” him in the first place. As though its a crime to pick a guy in the WB and not play them. But I notice Crazy Horse didn’t complain about Powell being “taken”.

            • October 6th 2017 @ 7:17pm
              Paul D said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

              Don’t waste your time trying to find meaning or logic in Crazypants’ posts. The first part of his moniker is quite appropriate.

              • Roar Guru

                October 7th 2017 @ 11:48am
                Timbo (L) said | October 7th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                I think you guys might be taking CH’s language too literally. There is a lot of emotion in it. Take the spirit though,

                Cheiks did the Same thing to Gill last year- Refused to release him to Toulon only to sit him in the Stands in a suit.

                There is a balance, but at some point you need to respect the players and their teams. The travel alone is a source of fatigue. They would want to be getting some really good returns at training to justify it.

      • October 6th 2017 @ 7:09pm
        cinque said | October 6th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

        How is Meakes different from Korczyk? Perese? Powell? Uelese? Or did some of them fly home? (I’ve lost track)

        • Roar Guru

          October 7th 2017 @ 11:39am
          Timbo (L) said | October 7th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Arnold, Perese and Korczyk are back.

          Keeping 3 players for the 1/2 game positions like Hooker makes sense. But with only 2 bench spots for backs there is no chance Meakes or Rona will get a run. Ulese could get the call up if Moore or Taf get injured

      • Roar Pro

        October 7th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        Crazy Horse said | October 7th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        Taking players away for the experience with no intention of playing them is OK on the EYOT when there is no other Rugby being played. Taking key players from a team that is playing then not using them is not.

    , , ,