James O'Connor will start at fly-half, while Rory Arnold and Lalakai Foketi have also been included in the Australia side to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

O'Connor gets the nod to don the number 10 shirt in the absence of Quade Cooper, who suffered an Achilles injury in the 41-26 win over the Pumas last weekend.

Arnold has recovered from a calf injury and the lock will make his first Wallabies start of the year at Estadio Bicentenario.

Centre Lalakai Foketi has been handed a maiden start by Dave Rennie, partnering Len Ikitau, and prop Taniela Tupo is back in the team in San Juan after Allan Alaalatoa returned home for personal reasons.

Pone Fa'amausili is set to make his debut off the bench, while Irae Simone is also among the replacements.

Australia head coach Rennie said: "After a tough, physical game last week it's great to be able to call on the experience of guys like James and Rory and also see the team's excitement for La and Irae who get to wear the Wallaby gold again on Saturday.

"It's going to be a proud occasion for Pone and his family and it's a testament to him for the hard work and obstacles he's had to overcome to earn his first Test cap."

 

Australia team: Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Lalakai Foketi, Marika Koroibete, James O'Connor, Nic White; James Slipper (captain), Folau Fainga’a, Taniela Tupou, Rory Arnold, Darcy Swain, Jed Holloway, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini.

Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Matt Gibbon, Pone Fa'amausili, Nick Frost, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Irae Simone, Reece Hodge.

Quade Cooper says he is "ready and prepared for this journey" after suffering an Achilles injury during Australia's Rugby Championship 41-26 win over Argentina on Saturday.

The fly-half went down injured seven minutes into the second half after slipping while in possession, and grabbed for his left leg before leaving the field with support from medical staff.

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie revealed after the game that Cooper's injury appeared to be "pretty serious".

The 34-year-old had only just returned from a strained calf that saw him miss the home series defeat to England, and faces a long lay-off just over a year before the Rugby World Cup in France.

Cooper took to Instagram on Sunday to thank his team-mates and medical staff, while vowing to support his team-mates from the sidelines.

He wrote: "Ready and prepared for this journey. Doesn’t mean it will be easy but I know I’ve prepared myself for the challenge ahead by building systems and habits to guide me through each obstacle on my path.

"Prepare for the storm so you are strong enough to endure it.

"Want to thank both my team-mates and the Argentinian players for their support and care when I got injured. My team-mates who continue to help me learn and grow each day I will miss you all but be supporting your journey as I continue mine.

"Our coaches for believing in me and continuing to push my growth. Our medical team who put so much time and energy into each and everyone of us."

Jed Holloway will make his Test debut and Quade Cooper returns to the Australia starting line-up for their first game of the Rugby Championship against Argentina on Saturday.

Holloway has been given the nod at blindside flanker for the game at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, while Cooper is back at fly-half after recovering from a calf strain.

Prop Matt Gibbon is set to make his Wallabies bow off the bench in Mendoza, where hooker Folau Fainga'a makes his first international start this year.

Second row Darcy Swain has been restored to the team after serving a ban for the red card he was given for a clash with Jonny Hill in the first Test against England.

Dave Rennie's side have been licking their wounds since losing the decisive final match of the series to the Red Rose last month.

Head coach Rennie said: "We've had a strong week of preparation over here in Argentina, and we are highly motivated to put on a performance that makes our supporters proud back home in Australia.

"It's an extremely special occasion for Jed, Matt and their families, and it's up to the rest of us to make sure it's a positive memory on their Test debuts.

"Argentina will be full of confidence after their home series win over Scotland, and we know we'll need to be at our best to get a good result on Saturday afternoon."

 

Australia team: Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White; James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper (captain), Rob Valetini.

Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Matt Gibbon, Taniela Tupou, Nick Frost, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge.

Former rugby league winger Suliasi Vunivalu heads a six-man list of uncapped players selected by Australia for the Test series with England.

Australia coach Dave Rennie named his 35-man squad on Sunday for the three-Test series against Eddie Jones' side, which starts in Perth on July 2.

Jed Holloway, Dave Porecki, lock Cadeyrn Neville and Vunivalu, who switched disciplines in 2019 after a league career with Melbourne Storm, have all been named in their first international squad.

Tighthead prop Pone Fa'amausili and second-rower Nick Frost are the other two uncapped players to be called up, while the in-form Fraser McReight was a notable omission.

The experienced Reece Hodge and Kurtley Beale also missed out through injury, with Michael Hooper leading the Wallabies as captain.

Fly-half Quade Cooper and Fiji-born backs Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete, who all play in Japan, are the three overseas selections allowed to be picked under Rugby Australia rules.

"The core of this squad is a group who have performed strongly for us over the last two seasons, while strong form in Super Rugby Pacific has been rewarded with a handful of new faces," Rennie said.

"The past two years have allowed us to build strong foundations as a group but there's no doubt that we have a lot more in us.

"We're looking forward to working hard and preparing as a group to put in performances that make our supporters proud against England next month."

The group will assemble on the Sunshine Coast from Thursday in preparation for the Optus Stadium opener, with Tests to follow at Brisbane's Lang Park and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
 

Australia squad:

Forwards: Dave Porecki, Lachlan Lonergan, Folau Fainga'a, Taniela Tupou, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Pone Fa'amausili, James Slipper, Angus Bell, Matt Philip, Jed Holloway, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Michael Hooper (captain), Pete Samu, Harry Wilson, Rob Valetini, Rob Leota

Backs: Nic White, Tate McDermott, Jake Gordon, Quade Cooper, James O'Connor, Noah Lolesio, Samu Kerevi, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Len Ikitau, Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway, Tom Banks, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia

Quade Cooper will make a remarkable return for the Wallabies after being named to play for the first time since 2017 when Australia face South Africa on Sunday.

Cooper had been part of Australia's squad for the Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand, but was not used in any of the three Tests which the All Blacks comfortably won.

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie has rolled the dice for the Rugby Championship showdown against South Africa on the Gold Coast, with 33-year-old Cooper named at fly-half, displacing 21-year-old Noah Lolesio.

Cooper's career has taken several turns since his last cap in 2017 against Italy, frozen out at Brad Thorn's Reds in Super Rugby, before a one-year stint at the Rebels and a move to play in Japan in 2019.

"He's had a really positive impact since joining the group, put pressure on us as selectors and he's excited to get out there and perform on Sunday night," Rennie said.

Angus Bell will earn his first start in the front-row, while Izack Rodda also comes into the starting line-up, with the backline unchanged.

Wallabies hooker Feleti Kaitu'u and back-rower Rob Leota are in line for debuts off the bench.

The match will see Australia captain Michael Hooper equal George Gregan's record for most Tests as Wallabies skipper when he steps out for the 59th time.

Meanwhile, Brodie Retallick has been named as captain for New Zealand after a head knock to Ardie Savea ahead of their Test against Argentina on Sunday.

Hooker Asafo Aumua will make his first Test start for the All Blacks, while prop Joe Moody returns following foot surgery via the bench.

"Brodie is a great leader in this team and we don't take his leadership for granted," said All Blacks coach Ian Foster. "We think this is a great honour for him, and he and his family can be hugely proud. 

"He's playing really well and leads from the front. He has come back into the black jersey this year and just picked up where he left off.

"He also has an experienced partner in Beaudy [Barrett] alongside him who is bringing a calmness to the team and a sense of direction and we’re seeing that in the way he plays."

 

Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Tate McDermott; Angus Bell, Folau Fainga'a, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Matt Philip, Lachlan Swinton, Michael Hooper, Rob Valetini.
Replacements: Feleti Kaitu'u, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia.

New Zealand: Jordie Barrett, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, George Bridge, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Karl Tu'inukuafe, Asafo Aumua, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Luke Jacobson.
Replacements: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Joe Moody, Tyrel Lomax, Tupou Vaa'I, Ethan Blackadder, Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie, Rieko Ioane.

Quade Cooper has been called up to train with Australia ahead of the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.

A Rugby Australia spokesman confirmed fly-half Cooper will link up with the Wallabies squad on Monday.

The 33-year-old, who won the last of his 70 caps in June 2017, will reportedly play a mentoring role as he is not an official member of the 42-man party.

It had been reported that Cooper could make a sensational international comeback with James O'Connor having suffered with injuries.

Head coach Dave Rennie named Izack Rodda and the uncapped Duncan Paia'aua in his squad on Sunday.

New Western Force lock Rodda is back in the Wallabies set-up after returning from a spell with Lyon.

Toulon back Paia'aua is the first player to be picked under the amended 'Giteau's Law', which enables those with under 60 caps to be selected with other players unavailable to join the group in Queensland and overseas due to current border restrictions.

Pone Fa'amausili, Lalakai Foketi, Feleti Kaitu'u, Ryan Lonergan, Andy Muirhead, Nick Frost and Rob Leota are the other uncapped players selected.

Nic White (knee) and Scott Sio (hamstring) along with Jordan Petaia (quad) have recovered from injuries to be included.

The Wallabies secured a 2-1 series win over France this month and head coach Rennie is eager to build on that – starting with a Bledisloe Cup opener against New Zealand at Eden Park on August 7.

 

Australia squad for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship :

Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Pone Fa'amausili, Lalakai Foketi, Nick Frost, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper (captain), Len Ikitau, Feleti Kaitu'u, Andrew Kellaway, Marika Koroibete, Rob Leota, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan, Ryan Lonergan, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, Andy Muirhead, Isi Naisarani, James O'Connor, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Duncan Paia’aua, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachlan Swinton, Matt To'omua, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Tom Wright.

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