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Wallabies bring back the big guns for Argentina showdown

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13th September, 2018
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The Wallabies will welcome back Israel Folau and David Pocock for their Rugby Championship clash against Argentina after the duo missed the side’s win last weekend through injury.

However, while Pocock will slot into the number 8 role he has filled all year for the Wallabies, Folau won’t line up in his customary fullback position, instead being named on the wing.

It’s the first time since 2013 that Folau has been named on the wing in a Test – he played his first five games for Australia out wide before moving to the more central position at the back in order to get his hands on the ball more frequently.

Dane Haylett-Petty will wear the number 15 jersey against the Pumas, having impressed at the back while filling in for Folau in the Wallabies’ past two games.

Dane Haylett-Petty Wallabies Australia Rugby Union 2017

(AAP Image/Dan Peled)

The inclusions of Pocock and Folau are the only two changes to the run-on side. Jack Maddocks and Pete Samu have made way for the returning stars, both falling back to the bench as Tom Banks and Ned Hanigan were dropped from the match-day squad entirely.

Adam Coleman will also make his return to the Wallabies side having missed the win over the Springboks last weekend for the birth of his first child. He’s been named on the bench in place of Rob Simmons, with Izack Rodda and Rory Arnold keeping their starting spots in the second row.

Nick Phipps has also been named to make his return on the bench after missing last weekend with a rib complaint. He replaces Joe Powell, who was an unused substitute against the Boks, while Sekope Kepu is the fifth and final change to the reserves, taking the back-up prop position held by Tom Robertson last week.

For the second week in a row, coach Michael Cheika has opted to name Kurtley Beale and Matt Toomua as the playmaking combination at fly-half and inside centre, keeping Bernard Foley on the bench.

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Kurtley Beale

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Will Genia will once again start at the base of the scrum, and Reece Hodge and Marika Koroibete, the latter of whom recently signed a contract extension which will keep him in Australian rugby for the next World Cup, have both kept their starting roles at outside centre and winger respectively.

Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Allan Alaalatoa comprise an unchanged starting front row, Cheika resisting calls to start Taniela Tupou and instead keeping the young Queensland prop on the bench.

Captain Michael Hooper and Lukhan Tui will line up in the 7 and 6 jerseys once again.

Wallabies team to face Argentina

1. Scott Sio (48 Tests)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (85 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (26 Tests)
4. Rory Arnold (16 Tests)
5. Izack Rodda (10 Tests)
6. Lukhan Tui (10 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (85 Tests)
8. David Pocock (72 Tests)
9. Will Genia (93 Tests)
10. Kurtley Beale (77 Tests)
11. Marika Koroibete (14 Tests)
12. Matt Toomua (36 Tests)
13. Reece Hodge (30 Tests)
14. Israel Folau (66 Tests)
15. Dane Haylett-Petty (24 Tests)

Reserves
16. Folau Faingaa (2 Tests)
17. Sekope Kepu (96 Tests)
18. Taniela Tupou (5 Tests)
19. Adam Coleman (25 Tests)
20. Pete Samu (6 Tests)
21. Nick Phipps (66 Tests)
22. Bernard Foley (61 Tests)
23. Jack Maddocks (3 Tests)

Earlier today, Argentina coach Mario Ledesma opted to make three changes to the side which performed so admirably against the All Blacks last weekend.

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Pablo Matera replaces the injured Tomas Lezana at No.6, Santiago Medrano will start at tighthead prop as Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro moves to loosehead, and Gonzalo Bertranou has been named as the run-on halfback, demoting Martin Landajo to a reserve role.

The clash between Australia and Argentina will be played on the Gold Coast this Saturday at 8:05pm (AEST), and you’ll be able to follow all of the action with live commentary and highlights right here on The Roar.