Argentina coach Ledesma feels for Cheika ahead of Wallabies Test

Tri Nations
AAP
by AAP

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma says it's not easy for Wallabies mentor Michael Cheika to take on his homeland in Saturday's Tri-Nations clash in Newcastle.

Cutting ties with Australia after five years following a disappointing World Cup last October, Cheika is now in the Pumas' coaching box for the tournament alongside Ledesma.

The pair go way back, working together at Stade Francais in 2011-12, the NSW Waratahs and then the Wallabies.

WATCH THE WALLABIES TAKE ON THE PUMAS IN NEWCASTLE, NOV 21. TICKETS HERE

Cheika brought scrum guru Ledesma on in the lead-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with the team advancing to the final where they lost to New Zealand.

Winning 84 Test caps with the Pumas before moving into coaching, Ledesma said it was tough to coach against one's own country.

Between 2015 and 2017 Ledesma did it six times for six wins, including helping plot to eliminate Argentina in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup.

"I was in his place a few years ago and it's not easy," Ledesma said on Thursday.

"He's a very proud Australian and that's not going to change."

Ledesma retained the same starting line-up that upset the All Blacks for the McDonald Jones Stadium match.

Playing their first Test in more than a year, the Pumas posted their first victory over New Zealand with a 10-point victory last Saturday at Sydney's Bankwest Stadium.

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Ledesma kept his starting XV, including five-eighth Nicolas Sanchez, who was responsible for all of their 25 points.

A victory for either side on Saturday night will move them above the All Blacks to the top of the Tri-Nation standings, with Argentina last beating the Wallabies in 2018 on the Gold Coast.

WALLABIES V PUMAS AT MCDONALD JONES STADIUM, NEWCASTLE. KICK-OFF: 7:45PM AEDT

WALLABIES (1-15): Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Harry Wilson, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Tom Banks

RESERVES: Folau Fainga'a, Angus Bell, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu

PUMAS (1-15): Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Guido Petti, Matias Alemanni, Pablo Matera (c), Marcos Kremer, Rodrigo Bruni, Tomas Cubelli, Nicolas Sanchez, Juan Imhoff, Santiago Chocobares, Matias Orlando, Bautista Delguy, Santiago Carreras

RESERVES: Santiago Socino, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Santiago Grondona, Facundo Isa, Gonzalo Bertranou, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero