Australia makes 3 changes for Tri-Nations rugby vs Argentina

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia has made three changes to its starting side for a Tri-Nations rugby test against a reinvigorated Argentina, which beat New Zealand for the first time last weekend.

Veteran prop Scott Sio comes in for the injured James Slipper at loosehead prop, alongside hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Taniela Tupou.

Rob Simmons is set to play his 105th test for the Wallabies at McDonald Jones Stadium at Newcastle north of Sydney, partnered with Matt Philip in the second row.

Ned Hanigan will start at blindside flanker in the third and final change to the starting team, joined in the back row by skipper Michael Hooper and No. 8 Harry Wilson.

Nic White will get his first chance to play for Australia in his home Hunter Valley region, partnering with Reece Hodge, who returns at flyhalf after leading the Wallabies to a 24-22 win over New Zealand in Brisbane. Regular No. 10 James O'Çonnor is sidelined with a foot injury.

“After being left out in our last test we got the reaction we expected from Scott (Sio), his preparation this week has been excellent and his experience will be invaluable against Argentina,“ Australia coach Dave Rennie said Thursday.

Argentina, which was expected to name its team later Thursday, upset the All Blacks 25-15 last Saturday in Sydney, the Pumas’ first win over New Zealand in 30 test matches.

“The tournament is evenly poised and our fate is in our own hands," Rennie said. “We saw how much passion Argentina play with in their performance last weekend and we’re excited by the challenge in Newcastle.”

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Australia: Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Harry Wilson, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Tom Banks. Reservees: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu.

Argentina: to be named.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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