Cheika pulls no punches as Wallabies bench big names

The former Leinster boss has rung the chances ahead of Argentina Test.

Quade Cooper is one of seven changes to the Australian starting XV.
Quade Cooper is one of seven changes to the Australian starting XV.
Image: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ONLY EIGHT PLAYERS who started last Saturday’s dramatic win over South Africa have been retained in position by Australia coach Michael Cheika with the second row the only area of the field not to see a single change.

With Will Genia and Matt Giteau ruled out through injury, Cheika has opted to re-jig most of his combinations meaning Quade Cooper, Michael Hooper and Sekope Kepu have all dropped to the bench while Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne, James Horwill and Scott Higginbotham have been left out of the squad altogether.

Bernard Foley comes in at ten while David Pocock gets the nod in the back row.

Last week’s match winner Tevita Kuridrani retains his place at outside centre but he’ll have a new partner inside as Matt Toomua replaces the injured Giteau.

Among those coming onto the bench as cover are Dean Mumm, Nic White and Kurtley Beale.

Argentina are hoping to make it two wins in a row over Australia after winning the last clash between the  sides, a 21-17 victory in the final game of the 2014 Rugby Championship.

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Saturday’s game kicks off at 10.40pm (GMT) on Saturday in Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza.

Australia XV to face Argentina

15. 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 (c), 1. James Slipper.

Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Dean Mumm, 20. Michael Hooper, 21. Nic White, 22. Quade Cooper, 23. Kurtley Beale.

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Steve O'Rourke

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