Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World

'He was playing a lot of No.8 and I enjoyed that combination with him'

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

The Wallabies are bracing for an emotion-charged Argentina outfit as they look to win an unprecedented fourth successive Rugby Championship Test in the final round on Saturday.


The Pumas lost six players ahead of the Gold Coast clash, including former captain and world-class flanker Pablo Matera, after they were locked out of Queensland following a day-trip across the border to Byron Bay.

It capped a tough tournament for the winless Argentine side, who were unable to play any matches at home, while coach Mario Ledesma said his side felt disrespected when a promotional photo for the four-nations tournament went ahead without their captain.

Video Spacer

RugbyPass Offload | S2 EP3 | The Journeyman Ollie Phillips on Lomu, Madonna & The Moulin Rouge
Video Spacer
RugbyPass Offload | S2 EP3 | The Journeyman Ollie Phillips on Lomu, Madonna & The Moulin Rouge

Australia outclassed the Pumas last round 27-8, however Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper was wary after their under-strength opponents rallied to a final round draw last year after Matera and two teammates were stood down for racial social media posts.

“We know that Argentina will b ounce back,” Hooper said on Friday.

“There’s a little bit going on there, full of emotion, and they will want to improve on their last game.

“There’s going to be a fair bit of emotion kicking off in this game, as we’ve seen in games like last year in a similar circumstance, so we’ve got to be on our game.”


Hooper said his team would try to put the blinkers on and focus on delivering a complete 80 minute performance, which they haven’t managed through the tournament.

“What has been pleasing is I think we’re starting to gain some momentum now,” the 29-year-old said.

“We’re talking about things during the week and executing them on the field; we’re still chasing that really solid 80 minute performance, and being extra clinical with that.

“Four weeks ago we were three losses on the trot so it hasn’t been a perfect run by any stretch and we’re not nailing things, there’s so much improvement and growth in us and we’ve got to stay focused on that.


“There’s always a goal to work toward.”

Two familiar faces return via the bench with backrower Sean McMahon playing his first Test in almost four years while 38-year-old prop Greg Holmes is poised to become the oldest Wallabies player to appear in a Test since WWII.

Flanker Hooper said he was excited to have the physical presence and work-rate of McMahon back in the line-up as they chase four consecutive Test matches wins for the first time since 2017.

“In 2017 he was playing a lot of No.8 and I enjoyed that combination with him,” Hooper said.

“I think he brings a really good dynamic to the team in the form of real aggression and just a super work-rate on the bloke.

“He’s been training really hard off the field in the last couple of weeks and he’s a great larrikin in the team as well.

“His enthusiasm to be in Wallaby gold has really been noticeable and it’s great to have him back.”


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
TRENDING Former cross-code All Black announces retirement from professional rugby Matt Duffie announces rugby retirement