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Facundo Isa back for Pumas, Lealiifano at fly-half for Wallabies
By Raga House | Thu 25 Jul, 2019 07:54

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has made five changes to his starting XV for their Rugby Championship clash with Argentina on Saturday.

Scott Sio is the only change to the forward pack as the 55-Test veteran returns from a hamstring injury that forced him out of last weekend’s Test against South Africa.

Will Genia, Christian Lealiifano, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale will all start in a new-look backline as combinations continue to be tested before the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Saturday’s clash will be a memorable occasion for Genia, with the scrum-half set to play his last-ever game at Suncorp Stadium following his decision to retire from Test rugby at the end of 2019.

Suncorp Stadium has proved a happy hunting ground for the wily number nine, who currently boasts 10 wins from his 12 games in Wallaby Gold at the venue.

The Test against Argentina will also mark the inspirational return of Lealiifano to the international arena. The 31-year old fly-half last played for the Wallabies in June 2016 against England, and has now returned to top form following a battle with leukaemia.

European-based players Santiago Cordero and Facundo Isa will feature in their first game of the 2019 Rugby Championship after being named in the Argentina side to take on Australia.

Since the introduction of the Jaguares, they had not selected individuals who reside overseas before 2018, but they have relaxed the rule ahead of the World Cup.

That means Isa will play his first match for the Pumas since 2016 while Cordero will turn out for the national team having missed the previous couple of years.

They are two of five changes to the XV with Joaquin Tuculet replacing the rested Emiliano Boffelli, Tomas Lezana starting ahead of Marcos Kremer and Julian Montoya coming in for the injured Agustin Creevy.

That means there could be a debut for hooker Santiago Socino, who is among the replacements after joining the Jaguares earlier this year following six seasons in England.

There is also one positional alteration with Matias Moroni moving from the wing to outside centre, with Matias Orlando taking a place on the bench.

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Lukhan Salakai-Loto, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Luke Jones, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 James O’Connor

Argentina: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Matías Orlando

Date: Saturday, July 27
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19:45 local (10:45 BST, 09:45 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Raga House
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