Rugby Championship
Michael Cheika rings Wallabies changes
ESPN Staff
July 23, 2015
Rugby Championship Preview: Argentina v Australia

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has opted to trial some new combinations against Argentina, making seven changes to his starting side for the Rugby Championship clash in Mendoza.

There are four changes in the backs and three in the forwards, with new-look midfields and back-rows the biggest surprise.

Quade Cooper, who finds himself the subject of further contract drama, has been benched with Bernard Foley promoted to the starting side alongside Matt Toomua; the Brumbies centre starting in place of the injured Matt Giteau. The other backline changes have also been forced by injury with Joe Tomane and Nick Phipps coming in for Rob Horne and Will Genia, respectively.

"We are fortunate with the level of depth in the squad to be able to cover for the injuries we sustained last Saturday night against the Springboks," Cheika said. "They all deserve their start against Los Pumas and they now have an opportunity to build on the performance last week and stake their claims. We have two fine playmakers in Quade and Bernard. Both players can make an enormous impact on our team."

David Pocock will start at No.7 against the Pumas this weekend © Getty Images

Up front, Cheika has resisted the temptation of starting both Michael Hooper and David Pocock with the Waratahs flanker moving to the bench. Pocock is joined in the back-row by Ben McCalman who comes in at No.8 for Scott Higginbotham.

And there is also a start for Greg Holmes after the Reds prop made a significant impact at scrum time from the bench against South Africa last weekend. Holmes' promotion sees Sekope Kepu drop back to the bench where he is joined by three new faces in Dean Mumm, Kurtley Beale and Nic White.

"We know Argentina will provide a physical challenge in this match, and our reserves will have a significant role to play," said Cheika. "Last week they (the bench) got us home against the Springboks, and I will be looking forward to an even a greater impact from our players entering game this weekend."

Australia: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Ben McCalman, David Pocock, Scott Fardy, Will Skelton, Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio, Sekope Kepu, Dean Mumm, Michael Hooper, Nic White, Quade Cooper, Kurtley Beale.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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