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Australia and Argentina make seven changes each for Rugby Championship clash

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has ring the changes to his team for Saturday’s second fixture of The Rugby Championship against Argentina in Mendoza.

Although Los Puma lost out to New Zealand in Christchurch, they would have expected that and immediately switched their attention to Australia as they look to repeat last year’s historic 21-17 scalp over the Wallabies, which was the South Americans’ first victory in the Rugby Championship

But since then Cheika has replaced Ewen Mckenzie as Wallabies head coach and brings his side into the tie with confidence after producing a stunning 24-20 comeback victory last weekend against South Africa in Brisbane, but their win came at a cost as the Aussies lost three players to injury.

Nick Phipps replaces the injured Will Genia at scrum-half, while Matt Toomua is rewarded for a fine performance off the bench against the Springboks with a starting place at inside centre as Matt Giteau, who is struggling with a sternum problem, comes out.

Previous Captain Michael Hooper returns to the bench to make way for Pocock and the in-form Joe Tomane comes in on the wing instead of Rob Horne, who has not been able to overcome a calf problem he picked up against South Africa.

Five of Argentina’s changes are in the backs with only Nicolas Sanchez and Santiago Cordero remaining.

Winger Gonzalo Camacho will make his international comeback on the left wing after three shoulder operations in two years, while Juan Imhoff, who has 26 caps and 13 tries for Los Pumas, is back on the right wing in place of Horacio Agulla.

Centres Juan Pablo Socino and Matias Moroni make their championship bows, replacing Jeronimo de la Fuente and Marcelo Bosch, with Socino also making his official Pumas debut.

Martin Landajo also comes in for Tomas Cubelli at scrum-half.

In the pack, Tomas Lavanini comes in for Guido Petti in the second row and Javier Ortega Desio is in for trouper Juan Manuel Leguizamon at blindside flanker.

RUCK prediction

Forget the Pumas’ loss in New Zealand last weekend. They would have expected that and would have already had their sights trained on Australia. Expect a no-holds-barred encounter with players on both sides having much to prove. Actually going to back the underdogs for once.

Argentina by 5

UK Kick-off time: 23:40

New Zealand: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14- Gonzalo Camach, 13- Matias Moroni, 12- Juan Pablo Socino, 11-Juan Imhoff, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Martin Landajo, 8-Facundo Isa, 7-Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6-Javuer Ortego Desio, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4- Manuel Carizza, 3-Ramiro Herrera, 2-Agustin Creevy, 1-Marcos Ayerza

Replacements:16- Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17-Mahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18- Matias Diaz, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Leonardo Senatore, 21-Tomas Cubelli, 22- Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23-Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

Australia: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 12-Matt Toomua, 11-Joe Tomane, 10-Bernard Foley, 9-Nick Phipps, 8-Ben McCalman, 7-David Pocock, 6-Scott Fardy, 5-Rob Simmons, 4-Will Skelton, 3-Greg Holmes, 2-Stephen Moore (captain), 1-James Slipper.

Replacements: 16-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17-Scott Sio, 18-Sekope Kepu, 19-Dean Mumm, 20-Michael Hooper, 21-Nic White, 22-Quade Cooper, 23-Kurtley Beale.