Rugby Championship 2014: Australia team for Argentina test

wallabiesEwen McKenzie has made three changes to the Australia team to take on Argentina this weekend, from the side that snuck past South Africa in round three.

Two of the changes are injury-enforced, with Western Force’s Ben McCalman coming in for Wycliff Palu (concussion) at number eight and Peter Betham replacing Waratahs teammate Adam Ashley-Cooper (neck) on the wing.

The other change comes at hooker, where McKenzie will be relieved to have one of his first choice players back. Tatafu Polota-Nau has been passed fit to play, and slots in at the expense of James Hanson, who drops to the bench.

Australia team to play Argentina:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 James Horwill, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Matt Hodgson, 22 Nic White, 23 Kurtley Beale.

Date: Saturday, September 13
Kick-off: 20:05 local (11:05 BST, 10:05 GMT)
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)

5 thoughts on “Rugby Championship 2014: Australia team for Argentina test

  1. Rob Simmons is very, very lucky to keep his spot after that absolute horror performance. Fardy is fortunate as well to keep his spot ahead of Hodgson. I don’t understand why they are not starting Higginbotham instead of McCalman either. Puzzling, to say the least, but the backline seems lethal, even with AAC gone.

  2. Engineer
    Mac seems to be tinkering with the fwds & esp in light of yr comments, what’s so wrong with Horwill who was Cptn not so long ago?! Also yr pick, Higg’botham? Seems pretty tall, rangy, agressive & a l/out option to me?

    Regds the backs, more tinkering? Surely Beale should be in there @ centre? Toomua outside him & Kuridrani on the wing? Needed more invention v SA & esp with Beale there, would it not be a better balanced line?

    Also, either of Folau or Beale could play f/back, or poss Folau @ wing?

    1. Don P

      Horwill ought to be in there ahead of Simmons in my view, since the latter had a nightmare against the springboks. And I’d have picked Higgers for the same reasons you’ve said. However, I’d rather have beale come off the bench. He’s an impact sub and can turn the game around, but you lose that if you start him. Steady as she goes in the beginning and then you let Beale run havoc from 12.

      Kuridrani was huge and should be left on outside center imo.

  3. I wouldn’t want Beale to be defending against the hard running Argies for 60 minutes. Better save him for fireworks in the last 20 when the argies stamina drops.

  4. Engineer

    You likely know the guys better than me, but I thought Beale would have brought more in terms of opening up a ‘D’; esp v SA. V Argie, prob run them ragged later on anyway, esp their b/line, so maybe less of an issue than prev game? Mind you, the fr rows of any country need to be awake in the scrums agin the ‘Wild Bulls of the Pampas’. SA & NZ found their hands plenty full @ times.

    PS What’s happened to the ‘best 1/2 in the world’, Will Genia. Has he become so bad? Injured?


    Presonally I’d rather Beale were ‘defending against the hard running Argies’… than me!

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