SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia coach Michael Cheika made two personnel changes to his matchday squad for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against Argentina but left former captain Stephen Moore out of the 23 for the Canberra test.
Lock Rob Simmons moved up from the bench at the expense of Rory Arnold in the only change to the starting lineup from the team that drew 23-23 with South Africa in Perth last week.
Izack Rodda could win his second cap after being named as second row cover in the replacements, while the uncapped Marika Koroibete was also named on the bench in place of his fellow former rugby league winger Curtis Rona.
Moore, who earlier this year stood down from the captaincy and announced he would be retiring from international rugby at the end of the season, returned to the squad this week after missing the Perth test to be at the birth of his third child.
Cheika, however, has stuck with Tatafu Polota-Nau as his starting hooker with Jordan Uelese as back-up after the 20-year-old got his his debut off the bench last week.
“He’s a player we’re looking to bring on,” Cheika said of Uelese in Canberra on Thursday.
“I think giving him a couple of games in a row is the smarter idea ... and let him get a feel for what it’s like back-to-back.
“I think it’s a logical decision and Stephen will get some hard training under his belt and get himself right for the tour.”
Koroibete, who would be the 22nd debutant for the Wallabies in the last two seasons if he comes off the bench, offers the sort of powerful running and ruthless finishing expected of a Fijian-born former rugby league winger.
“I think the big thing for us was that he was ready for the positional play. In international footy, you’ve got that little bit more complexity, you’ve got kickers trying to take advantage of your positional play,” said Cheika.
“We feel like he’s ready for that, he was close to getting a start this week. He’s a dangerous character.”
The Wallabies lost their first two tests in the tournament against New Zealand and will be seeking a first win in the tournament in the Australian capital on Saturday.
Team: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Henry Speight, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 12-Kurtley Beale, 11-Reece Hodge, 10-Bernard Foley,9-Will Genia, 8-Sean McMahon, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-NedHanigan, 5-Adam Coleman, 4-Rob Simmons, 3-Sekope Kepu, 2-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1-Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16-Jordan Uelese, 17-Tom Robertson,18-Allan Alaalatoa, 19-Izack Rodda, 20-Jack Dempsey, 21-Nick Phipps, 22-Samu Kerevi, 23-Marika Koroibete.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ian Ransom