Wallabies: James O’Connor named at fly-half while Rory Arnold also starts in Rugby Championship clash with Argentina

·3-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The Wallabies have named James O’Connor at fly-half for their second round Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in San Juan on Saturday.

O’Connor replaces the injured Quade Cooper in Australia’s starting team for the fixture, with Lalakai Foketi coming in at inside centre this weekend.

Nic White partners O’Connor in the half-backs while Foketi will have Len Ikitau outside him in the midfield as the Wallabies hunt another victory.

Jordan Petaia will again start on the right wing, with Marika Koroibete on the left. Tom Wright’s impressive first start at full-back sees him retained.

Rory Arnold starts at lock

In the pack, Rory Arnold makes his first Test appearance this year, named in the starting second-row alongside former Brumbies teammate Darcy Swain.

There’s also a change in the front-row with Taniela Tupou set to run out at tighthead prop, joining hooker Folau Fainga’a and James Slipper up front.

The back-row remains unchanged with last weekend’s debutant Jed Holloway to start at blindside flanker alongside Fraser McReight and Rob Valetini.

On the bench, Pone Fa’amausili has been named to make his potential Test bow, alongside Matt Gibbon and Lachlan Lonergan as the front-row options.

Nick Frost’s Test career continues to grow, again included to cover the locks with the versatile Pete Samu able to provide support across the back-row.

Tate McDermott has been recalled and will bring energy as the finishing scrum-half, with Irae Simone and Reece Hodge the other backline players.

“After a tough, physical game last week it’s great to be able to call on the experience of guys like James and Rory and also see the team’s excitement for La and Irae who get to wear the Wallaby gold again on Saturday,” said Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie.

“It’s going to be a proud occasion for Pone and his family and it’s a testament to him for the hard work and obstacles he’s had to overcome to earn his first Test cap.

Argentina and their supporters will be expecting a response this weekend and we’ll need to increase our physicality and accuracy to get another positive result in San Juan.”

The team

Australia: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Darcy Swain, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper (c)
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

Date: Saturday, August 13
Venue: Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan
Kick-off: 16:10 local (20:10 BST, 19:10 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Chris Busby (Ireland)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)

READ MORE: Argentina: Juan Imhoff starts in one of four changes for Rugby Championship rematch with Australia

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