Returning duo boosts Wallabies for Los Pumas clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Flank David Pocock and back Israel Folau were declared fit enough to be included in the starting line-up Thursday in a big boost for the Wallabies ahead of their weekend clash with Argentina.
Both players were late scratchings from Australia’s team against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday, but were named in the run-on XV for their Rugby Championship showdown against the Pumas on the Gold Coast.
Folau injured his ankle in the opening Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand on August 18, while Pocock has been struggling with a neck issue after being targeted by the All Blacks in Auckland three weeks ago.
While Folau returns, he will be on the wing with coach Michael Cheika opting to keep Dane Haylett-Petty in the No.15 jersey after two standout displays at fullback.
Bernard Foley is again on the bench after Cheika’s experiment with Kurtley Beale at No.10 and Matt Toomua at inside centre paid off in their narrow 23-18 win over the Springboks.
Adam Coleman returns to Wallabies camp after the birth of his first child and will start as a replacement, while Sekope Kepu is set to earn his 97th cap after also being named among the reserves.
Australia: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Jack Maddocks.
Date: Saturday, September 15
Venue: Robina Stadium, Gold Coast
Kick-off: 20.00 (07.00 Argentina time; 10.00 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)