Other Sports Wallabies seek Twickenham repeat against Argentina

Australia will aim to secure second in the Rugby Championship with victory over Argentina at Twickenham.

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Michael Cheika has dropped James Slipper while Leroy Houston is in line to win his first Australia cap as they aim to secure second place in the Rugby Championship by beating Argentina on Saturday. 

The Wallabies were defeated 18-10 by South Africa last time out but can still finish as runners-up to champions New Zealand, providing they see off the Pumas at Twickenham and the All Blacks overcome the Springboks.

But prop Slipper - capped 82 times by Australia - will not feature in London after being left out by Cheika, with youngsters Tom Robertson and Allan Alaalatoa selected among the replacements ahead of him.

"Definitely a tough call for James," Cheika said. "James needs to improve certain parts of his game that aren't up to the standard that he has.

"He's one of our most capped players and I want him to go beyond those standards he's set in the past."

Meanwhile Houston has earned his first Test call-up at the age of 29, the Bath number eight named among the substitutes, but Queensland Reds lock Rob Simmons misses out on a bench spot.

Argentina last beat Australia back in the 2014 tournament with a 21-17 win in Mendoza and return to the scene of their Rugby World Cup semi-final loss to the Wallabies last year.

But the Pumas will have to attempt to avenge that defeat without fly-half Nicolas Sanchez and wing Manuel Montero.

Sanchez is out with an ankle injury and Montero will not feature because of a pulled hamstring.

Both were initially included in Daniel Hourcade's XV but Ramiro Moyano has now been promoted from the bench to take Montero's place, while Jeronimo de la Fuente comes in at inside centre with Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias transitioning to fly-half in the absence of Sanchez.

Though Argentina have been hit by injuries, Hourcade, whose side were defeated 36-20 in the reverse fixture in Perth, is upbeat over their prospects for the tournament finale as they look to add to the home win over South Africa back in August.

"The team has some players out due to a very intense year of very hard matches and they are feeling the wear and tear," Hourcade said.

"But we are very motivated playing at Twickenham again and focused on having a great match."

 

Key Opta Stats:

- Australia have won 12 of their last 13 games with Argentina, including the last three meetings all by a margin of at least two converted tries.
- The Pumas have scored 108 points already this year, making it their highest scoring Rugby Championship campaign, a win in this match would make it the first time they have won two games in an edition of the tournament.
- Five players have made 50-plus carries in this tournament, four of which play for these two teams (Facundo Isa 85, Pablo Matera 57, Agustin Creevy 50, Israel Folau 50).
- Michael Hooper (61) has made 10 more tackles than any other player in the competition after five weeks, conversely the three players to miss the most tackles are all Australian too (Bernard Foley 14, Dane Haylett-Petty 13, Dean Mumm 11).
- Israel Folau has more tries against Argentina (4 in 7 games) than against any other nation, however he has now gone 11 games in this competition without crossing the try-line.

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