Douglas out, Simmons back for Pumas clash

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Michael Cheika has delivered another shock reshuffle to the Wallabies’ lock department, with Kane Douglas left out of the Wallabies side to face Argentina.

Douglas has started in all three Rugby Championship Tests on his return from a knee reconstruction, but out of favour second rower Rob Simmons has been elevated to the run-on team this weekend.

Rob Simmons is moving on from the opening Bledisloe result. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleySimmons will play alongside Adam Coleman, returning to the Wallabies second row for the first time since the Sydney Bledisloe.

The move means that the Wallabies will field their sixth locking combination of the season in seven Tests, with last weekend’s Coleman and Douglas pairing the only one to last beyond one match.

Australia’s backline have all retained their spots, giving Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley’s pairing another chance to gel in the inside backs.

Tom Robertson has burst onto the Wallabies scene this year. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyThe Wallabies could blood their eighth and ninth debutants of the season, with rookie prop Tom Robertson and backrower Lopeti Timani both named on an extended bench for the Pumas match.

Robertson’s rise has been meteoric, with the 22-year-old starring in Super Rugby this season and juggling full-time medical studies with his professional rugby career.

Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma said of Robertson earlier in the week that the way he has bursted on to the rugby scene was the most impressive thing about him.

“That's what I like from him, he came from nowhere,” he said.

“Nobody was talking about Tom at the beginning of the season and then he came on and just stepped up.

“He studies medicine, he's really intelligent and a really hard worker and [he has] a lot of character.”

Henry Speight could be on the verge of a Test return. Photo: ARU media/Stu WalmsleyTimani has been on the fringes of the Wallabies squad since June, named on an extended bench for last weekend’s Springboks Test, before dropping out of the matchday squad.

Drew Mitchell has dropped out of the 23, with Henry Speight a chance to return to Test rugby for the first time since scoring a try in last year’s World Cup pool match against Uruguay,.

Australia hosts the Pumas on Saturday night at nib Stadium, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST.


Wallabies team

1. Scott Sio (21 Tests)

2. Stephen Moore (c) (108 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (69 Tests)

4. Rob Simmons (63 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (3 Tests)

6. Dean Mumm (49 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (57 Tests)

8. David Pocock (59 Tests)

9. Will Genia (69 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (60 Tests)

11. Reece Hodge (2 Tests)

12. Bernard Foley (33 Tests)

13. Samu Kerevi (4 Tests)

14. Dane Haylett-Petty (6 Tests)

15. Israel Folau (44 Tests)

Reserves (one to be omitted)

Tatafu Polota-Nau (67 Tests)

James Slipper (80 Tests)

Tom Robertson*

Rory Arnold (3 Tests)

Lopeti Timani*

Sean McMahon (10 Tests)

Nick Phipps (44 Tests)

Tevita Kuridrani (37 Tests)

Henry Speight (5 Tests)