Beale experiment over as ‘Iceman’ returns
BERNARD Foley has been handed the job of trying to reignite Australia's stuttering attack after being recalled to the starting line-up for this weekend's crunch Rugby Championship showdown with the Pumas.
Ditched from his playmaking role after the second Bledisloe Cup loss in Auckland in August, the "Ice Man" was given the nod over Matt Toomua to start at five-eighth after Michael Cheika, whose own future could rest on the result, wisely decided to abort his experiment of playing Kurtley Beale at 10.
As revealed by The Daily Telegraph, Beale will now return to his customary role at inside centre which is a much better fit for his natural running lines.
Cheika was tossing up whether to give Toomua a crack at five-eighth after he made such a positive impact since rejoining the Wallabies this season but opted instead to plant him on the bench and stick with Foley.
Because of his commitments to his English club Leicester, Toomua won't be able to play in the Wallabies' next game against the All Blacks in Japan so having Foley start against Argentina will add some stability to a backline which just hasn't clicked this season.
With the Wallabies needing to beat Argentina to move off the bottom of the championship standings, Cheika resisted the temptation to make any other changes to the line-up that started in last weekend's loss to South Africa.
There was some doubt over Marika Koroibete after the bustling winger failed a head injury assessment when he copped a heavy knock against the Springboks but he was cleared to resume playing.
Cheika made two additions to his bench, which still needs to be trimmed back after he named an extra reserve.
Hooker Tolu Latu was recalled at the expense of Brandon Paenga-Amosa who made a hash of a crucial lineout throw when he came on against the Springboks.
Utility back Tom Banks was rewarded with a third Test cap for Jack Maddocks, who was sent home with an injured hand.
Caleb Timu was preferred ahead of Melbourne Rebels blindside flanker Angus Cottrell as the back-up loose forward with either Rob Simmons or Rory Arnold likely to miss out if Cheika opts for just one replacement lock.
Wallabies team to play Argentina at Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium, Salta, Sunday, 9.45am AEDT. STARING: 1. Scott Sio (50 Tests) 2. Folau Faingaa (4 Tests) 3. Taniela Tupou (7 Tests) 4. Izack Rodda (12 Tests) 5. Adam Coleman (27 Tests) 6. Ned Hanigan (16 Tests) 7. Michael Hooper (c) (86 Tests) 8. David Pocock (73 Tests) 9. Will Genia (95 Tests) 10. Bernard Foley (63 Tests) 11. Marika Koroibete (16 Tests) 12. Kurtley Beale (79 Tests) 13. Reece Hodge (32 Tests) 14. Israel Folau (68 Tests) 15. Dane Haylett-Petty (26 Tests) RESERVES: 16. Tolu Latu (8 Tests) 17. Sekope Kepu (98 Tests) 18. Allan Alaalatoa (28 Tests) 19. Rob Simmons (89 Tests) 20. Rory Arnold (18 Tests) 21. Caleb Timu (2 Tests) 22. Nick Phipps (68 Tests) 23. Matt Toomua (38 Tests) 24. Tom Banks (2 Tests) *one to be omitted
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