Jones makes five changes to starting XV for Pumas Test

Wed, Jul 12, 2023, 11:27 PM
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
Mark Nawaqanitawase will play his first Test on home soil on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images
Mark Nawaqanitawase will play his first Test on home soil on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images

Richie Arnold has been named to make his first Test start with Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones making five changes to the run-on side for Saturday night’s clash with Argentina in Sydney.

The match at CommBank Stadium is the side’s first of two on home soil this year, with Arnold to combine with fellow France-based lock Will Skelton in the second row, the pair having faced off against each other in the Top 14 final in Paris just last month.

In another change, Waratahs winger Mark Nawaqanitawase has been selected on the right wing, with Samu Kerevi returning at inside centre to partner with Len Ikitau in the midfield.

Yamba-product Jed Holloway and Reds backrower Fraser McReight will wear the Wallabies jersey for first time in 2023, lining up at blindside and openside flanker respectively, with co-captain Michael Hooper ruled out of the match through injury.

The front-row remains unchanged with Test centurion James Slipper to skipper the side at loosehead prop, with David Porecki named at hooker and Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead prop in his 66th appearance for his country.

Playmaker Quade Cooper will play his first International in Sydney since 2017, selected at flyhalf to partner Nic White who will again line-up in the number nine jersey.

Nawaqanitawase combines with last weekend’s opening try scorer and left winger Marika Koroibete and fullback Tom Wright in the back three.

22-year-old Angus Bell is set to make his return from a foot injury after 142 days on the sideline as the replacement loosehead prop, with Pone Fa’amausili recalled to the matchday 23 as the finishing tighthead. Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese completes the replacement front row.

Jones has opted for a 6/2 split on the bench, with Melbourne pair Matt Philip and Rob Leota named for their first Tests of 2023. The latter returning to the field for the first time after suffering a ruptured Achilles in last year’s Bledisloe Cup series, over 300 days ago.

Their club teammate and back rower, Josh Kemeny is in line to become Wallaby number 968, selected by Jones as a potential debutant from the pine.

Reds skipper Tate McDermott will again be the finishing scrumhalf, with last weekend’s try scorer on debut Carter Gordon in line for his second appearance in Wallaby gold in Sydney on Saturday night.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “As a squad we’re running a marathon this year, and we didn’t get off the start line like we wanted to, but we get another opportunity to find our rhythm this weekend against a tough Argentinian side.”

“We have two Tests on home soil this year, so we have to have to roll up our sleeves on Saturday and put in a performance that drives Australians to show pride in the Wallabies.”

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Wallabies team to play Argentina at CommBank Stadium, Sydney on Saturday 15 July, 7:45pm AEST

1. James Slipper (c) (128 Tests)

2. David Porecki (11 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (65 Tests)

4. Richie Arnold (1 Test)

5. Will Skelton (25 Tests)

6. Jed Holloway (10 Tests)

7. Fraser McReight (10 Tests)

8. Rob Valetini (31 Tests)

9. Nic White (60 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (77 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (52 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (42 Tests)

13. Len Ikitau (27 Tests)

14. Mark Nawaqanitawase (3 Tests)

15. Tom Wright (24 Tests)


16. Jordan Uelese (16 Tests)

17. Angus Bell (20 Tests)

18. Pone Fa’amausili (3 Tests)

19. Matt Philip (27 Tests)

20. Rob Leota (13 Tests)

21. Josh Kemeny*

22. Tate McDermott (22 Tests)

23. Carter Gordon (1 Test) *denotes uncapped

2023 eToro Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures

Wallabies 12 defeated by South Africa 43 on Saturday 8 July at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria

Wallabies v Argentina, 7:45pm AEST, Saturday 15 July at CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Wallabies v New Zealand, 7:45pm AEST, Saturday 29 July at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

Wallabies v New Zealand, 2:35pm NZST/12:35pm AEST Saturday 5 August at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin