Rugby Championship: Wallabies select oldest player since WWII as Dave Rainey makes changes for Pumas shock

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and Pumas coach Mario Ledesma. photo / application

Coach Dave Rainey has made several changes to his squad for the Australian Rugby Championship final game against Argentina, including the surprise return of 38-year-old mainstay Greg Holmes.

The decision was undoubtedly easier than what his counterpart Mario Ledesma faced with Puma.

Where Rainey picked Japan-based backer Sean McMahon on the reserve bench for Saturday’s test at Gold Coast and Holmes’ Robina Stadium, who is set to become the oldest wallaby in decades, Argentina coach Ledesma with six departures 15 and Considered eight reservations. Fewer players than expected.

Six – including star flanker Pablo Matera – are forced to live in neighboring New South Wales after a Covid-19-related border violation with two staff.

Governing body Sanzar said on Thursday the players and staff were part of a group that traveled by bus to a health retreat in Byron Bay, upstate New Brunswick on Wednesday. South Wales. The crew attempted to re-enter the state of Queensland without proper documentation before being forced to spend the night in the border town of Kingscliff in New South Wales.

Pablo Matera in action against the All Blacks.  photo / application
Pablo Matera in action against the All Blacks. photo / application

Sanzar has decided that with 44 players on the Tour of Argentina, the test against Australia will run without ineligible players.

The Wallabies are aiming for their fourth straight victory – two over World Cup champions South Africa and last week’s 27-8 victory over Puma.

McMahon, 27, played against Suntory in the Japanese national competition after leaving the Melbourne Rebels of Super Rugby at the end of 2017, his last test against Scotland in late November of the same year.

McMahon was a member of the Wallabies team that reached the 2015 World Cup final, but Japan’s decision made him ineligible for Australia.

Brought back to the Wallabies fold by Renee, McMahon could be taken on an Australian tour of the UK for consecutive weekends in November for trials against Scotland, England and Wales, as well as en route. to Japan on October 23. He could be eligible for selection for the next Rugby World Cup in France, despite his contract with Japan until early 2023.

Renee also selected Holmes for her international comeback. Rugby Australia said if Holmes progressed he would be the oldest player to play for the Wallabies since World War II.

Greg Holmes.  photo / getty
Greg Holmes. photo / getty

Darcy Swain and Pete Samu were relegated to the starting lineup after a strong performance off the bench in last week’s win.

Swain Isaacs will team up with Roda when Matt Phillips returns to the bench, while Samu will head to the blind flank in the back row with captain Michael Hooper and No.8 Rob Valtini.

“Pete has been a great substitute for us in the last few tests and he won the opportunity to show his kicking skills this weekend,” said Rennie. “Greg and Sean both worked really hard around their details on and off the pitch.”

Powerhouse winger Marika Koroibet will miss the Gold Coast Test after being allowed to return to Melbourne to spend more time with her family, including a newborn, before the Wallabies move overseas.

The Wallabies team: Reece Hodge, Jordan Petia, Len Ikitou, Samu Kerevy, Andrew Kellaway, Quaid Cooper, Nick White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Pete Samu, Darcy Swain, Isaac Rodda, Tanila Tupo, Folau Finga, James Slipper.

Stores: Lachlan Lonergan, Angus Bell, Greg Holmes, Matt Phillippe, Sean McMahon, Jake Gordon, James O’Connor, Tom Wright.

– AP

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