Wallabies
Australia v Argentina: Everything you need to know
RUGBY

Australia v Argentina: Everything you need to know

The Rugby Championship enters its fourth round on Saturday with Australia and Argentina seeking their first wins of this year's competition.

Australia attack coach Stephen Larkham believes the key to earning a first victory of the 2017 Rugby Championship against Argentina on Saturday is to stop thinking about winning.

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Both sides come into this weekend's meeting in Canberra without a success to their name, the Wallabies having drawn 23-23 with South Africa following successive defeats to New Zealand, while the Pumas lost twice to the Springboks before they fell away in the final stages against the All Blacks last Saturday.


As a result, neither side retains a realistic chance of topping the table, but Larkham knows there is still plenty at stake as his men look to recover from letting slip a 10-point lead against South Africa last time out.

"We'd spoken about the last couple of games where we probably had an opportunity to win them and didn't and maybe some guys were thinking about outcomes in the final few minutes of the game," he said.

"We want to make sure that thought process is not in the players' minds at all, so in our preparation leading into this game, it's certainly not about the outcome it's about the way we prepare and play on the day.

"We're aware that we're responsible for rugby in Australia in general to make sure we're getting results but the best way to do that is not to think about the outcome but more the preparation and your performance in the moment."

The Wallabies' sole change to their starting XV sees Rob Simmons replace Rory Arnold at lock, while Argentina have made four alterations to the team that gave New Zealand a scare before going down 39-22.

Israel Folau retains his place for the hosts, at the end of a week which saw the full-back cause a stir on social media with a tweet expressing his refusal to support the gay marriage movement in Australia.

HEAD TO HEAD


Australia: 21
Argentina: 5
Draw: 1

KEY PLAYERS

Bernard Foley (Australia): The Wallabies' fly-half kicked a perfect five from five - a crucial contribution - in last week's draw with the Springboks and he will need to be accurate from the tee once again if he is to capitalise on any Puma ill-discipline.

Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina): Moved from the wing to full-back for this Test, Boffelli provides a double-pronged threat for the Pumas. He knocked over two monster penalties against New Zealand last weekend - one from well inside his own half - so Australia will have to be wary of transgressing from anywhere within 55 metres.

LINE-UPS

Australia: Israel Folau, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Adam Coleman, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sean McMahon.

Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Lucas Noguera Paz, Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Guido Petti, Matias Alemanno, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Tomas Lezana.

PRE-MATCH TALK

Larkham on Beale: "He adds a very important link in our game, Bernard and Willy [Genia] are controlling everything in tight and KB's the man who calls for the ball when it's on out wide. We couldn't be happier with the way that he's performed so far."


Argentina captain Creevy: "It's always a good opportunity for us and I think we are qualified to play equal to Australia. There have been tight matches but we could never stay here with the win and I think this Saturday we are ready to leave everything to win."

OPTA STATS

- Australia have won 13 of their last 14 games against Argentina, including each of the last four meetings between the nations.
- Argentina have won only one of their six Tests so far this year. The last time they finished a calendar year with a lower win rate was when they went winless from three games in 1976.
- The Wallabies have scored 73 per cent (8/11) of their tries on the opening phase of possession, the highest percentage of any team in the competition.
- Folau has made 32 carries for 351 metres this tournament, 97m more than any other player has managed.
- Creevy has already won five turnovers this tournament, the equal most of any player alongside Malcolm Marx, despite playing just 180 minutes.

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