Simmons back for Wallabies

Date published: September 15 2016

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Australia head coach Michael Cheika has made one change to his starting XV that will face Argentina as Rob Simmons comes in at lock.

Simmons will play alongside Adam Coleman, returning to the Wallabies second-row for the first time since the Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney.

The move means that the Wallabies will field their sixth locking combination of the season in seven Tests, with last weekend's Coleman and Kane 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.

The Wallabies could blood their eighth and ninth debutants of the season, with rookie prop Tom Robertson and back-rower 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."

Timani 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: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements (one to be omitted): Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Tom Robertson, Rory Arnold, Lopeti Timani, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Tevita Kuridrani, Henry Speight

Date: Saturday, September 17
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 20:05 local (10:05 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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