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UPDATED: Hooper out as Holloway named to debut for Wallabies against Argentina

Thu, 04/08/2022, 6:57 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies backs Marika Koroibete and Len Ikitau have spoken to media from Buenos Aires.

UPDATE: Michael Hooper (personal reasons) is out of the first Test against Argentina. Fraser McReight will come into the side with James Slipper to captain

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed Jed Holloway will make his debut against Argentina in Mendoza.

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Holloway will start at blindside flanker alongside Fraser McReight and Rob Valetini in the opening round of the Rugby Championship.

The 29-year-old has been a revelation since returning from Japan, overcoming a calf injury that kept him out of the England series.

He is joined by Rebels prop Matt Gibbon, also in line for his debut via the bench.

Gibbon slots into the side after strong showings for Australia A, with Angus Bell (toe) and Scott Sio (neck/shoulder) ruled out.

"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," Rennie said in a statement.

"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.”

The Wallabies have received further boosts with Quade Cooper (calf) and Jordan Petaia (concussion) cleared to return.

Cooper slots into the halves alongside Nic White for his first Test of 2022, sensationally ruled out of the England series opener in the warm-up.

"Quade's trained really well, his experience, the quality of his skill set is really evident when we train as well," Rennie explained to reporters.

"The impressive thing about Quade last year was we had a plan going into the game and he implemented it really well and we've got a clear plan this time as well.

Meanwhile, Petaia slots onto the wing, with Rennie opting for Tom Wright at fullback after strong showings against England

"Our back three all need to be fullbacks...Tom was outstanding at fullback a couple of weeks ago, probably the best Test he’s played," Rennie believes.

"He's an excellent communicator, really good organiser of people around them and he's just been in really good form."

His Reds teammate Hunter Paisami shifts to inside centre after a season-ending injury to Samu Kerevi (knee), with Len Ikitau elevated from the bench.

Darcy Swain makes his return from suspension, partnering Matt Philip in the second-row whilst Nick Frost holds out Rory Arnold for a spot on the bench.

However, Dave Porecki (concussion) will not feature, with Folau Fainga’a slated to start and Lachlan Lonergan to come off the bench.

Lonergan is joined on the bench by Taniela Tupou as Allan Alaalatoa returns to the starting side.

"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," Rennie added.

Wallabies team to play Argentina at the Estadio Malvinas, Mendoza on Saturday 6 August, 4:10pm ART

1. James Slipper (c) (117 Tests)

2. Folau Fainga’a (28 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (55 Tests)

4. Darcy Swain (11 Tests)

5. Matt Philip (23 Tests)

6. Jed Holloway*

7. Fraser McReight (2 Tests)

8. Rob Valetini (21 Tests)

9. Nic White (50 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (75 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (45 Tests)

12. Hunter Paisami (17 Tests)

13. Len Ikitau (15 Tests)

14. Jordan Petaia (18 Tests)

15. Tom Wright (12 Tests)

Replacements

16. Lachlan Lonergan (4 Tests)

17. Matt Gibbon*

18. Taniela Tupou (40 Tests)

19. Nick Frost (2 Tests)

20. Rob Leota (9 Tests)

21. Pete Samu (22 Tests)

22. Jake Gordon (12 Tests)

23. Reece Hodge (55 Tests)

*denotes uncapped

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