Cheika finalizes Australia's reserves for Argentina match
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Australia coach Michael Cheika on Friday confirmed his reserve players for Saturday's Rugby Championship test against Argentina, dropping winger Henry Speight to set up a 6-2 split of forward and backs on the bench.
The match will likely provide test debuts off the reserves bench for New South Wales prop Tom Robertson and Melbourne Rebels backrower Lopeti Timani. Starting lock Dean Mumm is set to play his 50th test Saturday after making his debut in 2008 against Ireland in Melbourne.
On Thursday, Cheika made just one starting change for the match, returning lock Rob Simmons to the side. The Wallabies are coming off a 23-17 win over South Africa last Saturday in Brisbane which ended a six-match losing streak.
Simmons last played in Australia's tournament-opening loss to New Zealand on Aug. 20.
Argentina made four changes to the side which lost 57-22 to the All Blacks last Saturday in Hamilton, New Zealand.
ACT Brumbies scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli earns his first start for Argentina since last year's World Cup, while Juan Manuel Leguizamon returns at blindside flanker after recovering from a leg injury.
Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias replaces injured center Juan Martin Hernandez, while Javier Ortega Desio moves to lock to replace the injured Guido Petti.
"It really hurt," Cubelli said of his side's 29-15 semifinal loss to Australia at the World Cup at Twickenham.
"We knew it was a great (Wallabies) team, but we thought that we could win that game. (But) they were more efficient, their defense, and some of their kicking game was better."
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Samu Kerevi, Bernard Foley, Reece Hodge, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Dean Mumm, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (captain), Scott Sio. Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Tom Robertson, Rory Arnold, Lopeti Timani, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Tevita Kuridrani.
Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Santiago Cordero, Matias Moroni, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli, Facundo Isa, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Matias Alemanno, Javier Ortega Desio, Ramiro Herrera, Agustin Creevy (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Reserves: Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Enrique Pieretto, Marcos Kremer, Leonardo Senatore, Martin Landajo, Gabriel Ascarate, Matias Orlando.