Rugby News

Rugby-Australia swaps props for Pumas test

MELBOURNE, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Australia coach Dave Rennie has recalled experienced prop Scott Sio for the Tri-Nations clash against Argentina, among one of three changes to the starting side.

The 66-test Sio was omitted for the Wallabies’ 24-22 win over the All Blacks in Brisbane earlier this month but comes back in as replacement for injured loosehead James Slipper.

Sio beats out Angus Bell for the starting spot, with the young prop remaining on the bench after making his test debut at Lang Park.

“After being left out in our last test we got the reaction we expected from Scott, his preparation this week has been excellent and his experience will be invaluable against Argentina,” Rennie said in a team release on Thursday.

Tighthead prop Taniela Tupou replaces the benched Allan Alaalatoa in a recalibrated front row, while the versatile Ned Hanigan starts at blindside flanker in place of the suspended Lachie Swinton.

The win over the All Blacks was Australia’s first in four tests under Rennie, and he has left his backline unchanged for the Pumas, who claimed a stunning 25-15 win over the All Blacks in Sydney in their first match of the Tri-Nations last week.

“As a group, we know respect is earned daily and understand the importance of backing up our last performance with another quality effort on Saturday night,” said Rennie.

“The tournament is evenly poised and our fate is in our own hands. We saw how much passion Argentina play with in their performance last weekend and we’re excited by the challenge in Newcastle.”

Rennie has made a couple of changes to his bench, with two-test ACT Brumbies forward Rob Valetini coming in as cover for the second and back row.

New South Wales Waratahs’ Jake Gordon has been included as backup scrumhalf for Nic White.

Team: 15-Tom Banks, 14-Tom Wright, 13-Jordan Petaia, 12-Hunter Paisami, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Reece Hodge, 9-Nic White, 8-Harry Wilson, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-Ned Hanigan, 5-Matt Philip, 4-Rob Simmons, 3-Taniela Tupou, 2-Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1-Scott Sio

Replacements: 16-Folau Fainga’a, 17-Angus Bell, 18-Allan Alaalatoa, 19-Rob Valetini, 20-Liam Wright, 21-Jake Gordon, 22-Noah Lolesio, 23-Filipo Daugunu (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)