Holloway to debut as Cooper returns for Wallabies in Argentina

Rugby Au

Waratahs backrower Jed Holloway will make his Test debut at age 29, named to start at blindside flanker for the Wallabies against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday afternoon (local time).

He’s one of two players named in their first Australian matchday 23, with Melbourne Rebels prop Matt Gibbon set to make his debut off the pine as the loosehead prop cover.

Playmaker Quade Cooper returns to the team, looking for his first minutes in a gold jersey this year after making a full recovery from a calf strain. He’ll wear the number 10 jersey and partner the in-form Nic White in the halves.

After impressive form in the England Series, Tom Wright will wear the number 15 jersey for the first time in a Test, with the electric Jordan Petaia and powerful Marika Koroibete on the wings, completing the back three.

An all-Brumbies front row sees hooker Folau Fainga’a earn his first start of 2022, with Test centurion James Slipper and stalwart Allan Alaalatoa named as the starting props.

Darcy Swain is another who returns to the team after serving his suspension and is set to reignite his second-row combination alongside workhorse Matt Philip.

Yamba product Holloway is joined in the backrow by captain Michael Hooper who will surpass former teammate Adam Ashley-Cooper as the third most-capped Wallaby of all time when he runs out for his 122nd Test match at Estadio Malvinas in Mendoza in the familiar number seven. The ever-improving Rob Valetini will anchor the scrum for the 14th consecutive time at no. 8.

The hard-hitting Hunter Paisami will slot in at inside centre, with Len Ikitau back in the starting line-up as his midfield partner, the pair having last started together for the country against Wales last year.

The mobile Lachlan Lonergan will also play his first Test of the year as the reserve hooker, with fan-favourite Taniela Tupou the prop cover alongside Gibbon.

A 6-2 bench split, sees the dynamic Nick Frost named to cover the second row, with Melbourne-born duo of Rob Leota and Pete Samu the remaining forward cover.

New South Wales captain Jake Gordon will bring energy as the finishing scrumhalf, while Reece Hodge’s versatility will again be called on as the other backline replacement.

The Test marks the beginning of the team’s eToro Rugby Championship campaign, with home Tests against South Africa and New Zealand from later this month.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “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.”

“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.

“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.”

Every Wallabies Test will be ad-free, live and on-demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport. Every home Wallabies Test will also be live, free-to-air on the Nine Network.

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

  1. James Slipper (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. Michael Hooper (c) (121 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)
  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

2022 eToro Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures

Wallabies v Argentina, Sunday 7 August, 5:10am AEST at Estadio Malvinas, Mendoza

Wallabies v Argentina, Sunday 13 August, 5:10am AEST at Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan

Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 27 August, 3:00pm ACST at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 3 September, 7:30pm AEST at Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Wallabies v New Zealand, Thursday 15 September, 7:45pm AEST at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

Wallabies v New Zealand, Saturday 24 September, 5:05pm AEST at Eden Park, Auckland

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