Australia will look to build on a come-from-behind win in their Rugby Championship opener when they face a rematch against Argentina in San Juan on Saturday evening (kick-off 8.10pm BST).
The Wallabies trailed 19-10 at the break last weekend but a strong second-half performance saw them prevail 41-26 despite inspirational captain Michael Hooper withdrawing from the squad due to mental health struggles and starting fly-half Quade Cooper adding to a colossal injury list by going off with an Achilles issue.
It means 32-year-old James O’Connor starts at fly-half this week, with the versatile Reece Hodge providing bench cover, and coach Dave Rennie has conceded it’s a position where he’s short of options. “Ten is the skinniest [position],” admitted Rennie. “We’ve got some good young kids coming through but not ready for this level yet. It’s certainly an area of focus, we need to develop our young 10s.”
Ill-discipline ultimately cost Los Pumas last week as they squandered a promising position to slip to defeat and their coach Michael Cheika – a former Wallabies boss – will hope for more consistency but faces an Australia side who will be wiser from the outset this week and acclimated to the conditions.
Here’s all you need to know about the match:
When is Argentina vs Australia?
The match will be played at Estadio Bicentenario in San Juan, Argentina, on Saturday 13 August at 8.10pm BST.
Where can I watch it?
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Action – with coverage starting at 8pm. If you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
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What’s the team news?
James O’Connor and Rory Arnold will start their first Tests of the year for the Wallabies, coming in at fly-half and lock respectively, while Taniela Tupou starts at tighthead prop and Lalakai Foketi gets the nod at inside center in the other changes from a week ago. Australia still have a lengthy injury list limiting their possibilities.
Argentina have also made four changes, with three-quarters of those coming in the backs. Gonzalo Bertranou starts at scrum-half, Matias Moroni is preferred to Matias Orlando at outside center and Juan Imhoff is named on the left wing, meaning Emiliano Boffelli switches to the right and Santiago Cordero is dropped. The sole change up front sees Thomas Gallo promoted from the bench to start at loosehead in place of Manuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou; 1 Thomas Gallo, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 4 Matias Alemanno, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Marcos Kremer, 8 Pablo Matera, .
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Lucio Cinti
Australia: 15. Tom Wright, 14. Jordan Petaia, 13. Len Ikitau, 12. Lalakai Foketi, 11. Marika Koroibete, 10. James O’Connor, 9. Nic White; 1. James Slipper (c), 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Rory Arnold 4. Darcy Swain, 6. Jed Holloway, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Rob Valetini.
Replacements:16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Matt Gibbon, 18. Pone Fa’amausili, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Irae Simone, 23. Reece Hodge.
Argentina win – 9/5
Draw – 19/1
Australia win – 1/2
The Wallabies are still riddled with injuries and the lack of a world-class fly-half continues to haunt them, so Argentina will sense a chance, but the visitors should have enough in the tank to edge the contest. Argentina 24-30 Australia
Full TV schedule for Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 13
South Africa vs New Zealand – live on Sky Sports Action from 3.55pm (kick-off at 4.05pm)
Argentina vs Australia – live on Sky Sports Action from 8pm (kick-off at 8.10pm)
Saturday, August 27
Australia vs South Africa – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 6.30am)
New Zealand vs Argentina – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 8.45am)
Saturday, September 3
New Zealand vs Argentina – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 8.05am)
Australia vs South Africa – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 10.35am)
Thursday, September 15
Australia vs New Zealand – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 10.45am)
Saturday, September 17
Argentina vs South Africa – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 8.10pm)
Saturday, September 24
New Zealand vs Australia – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 8.05am)
South Africa vs Argentina – live on Sky Sports Action (kick-off is at 4.05pm)