Argentina v Australia: Everything you need to know

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Australia will look to round off a disappointing Rugby Championship campaign on a high note when they face winless Argentina on Saturday.

The Wallabies' only victory of the competition came at the expense of the Pumas, though that 45-20 success was somewhat flattering as it came thanks in part to three tries in the last 10 minutes.

A pair of draws with South Africa and defeats to champions New Zealand have left Australia in third place, but they can leapfrog the Springboks into second with a win providing New Zealand make it six wins from six in their final game.

Michael Cheika has named an unchanged XV for the contest, the first time he has done so in his three-year tenure.

The upbeat head coach said: "We've created a bit of depth. It's up to them to perform well each week when they cross the line and be fully focused.

"It'll always change when players get an opportunity or maybe someone else is down. That's what demands consistent selection.

"I am pleased with the group of players we have got, knowing that we've still got a few players to come back in. We've got a good group here."

The Pumas are aiming to avoid a first winless tournament since 2013 and have made four changes, with Martin Landajo replacing scrum-half Tomas Cubelli, who fractured a vertebra in the loss to the All Blacks last time out.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

Argentina: 5
Australia: 22
Draw: 1

 

KEY PLAYERS

Martin Landajo (Argentina): The injured Cubelli brings the experience of having played in Australian rugby during a previous spell with Brumbies, but Landajo will instead have to fill the void and link up well with Nicolas Sanchez at fly-half if Argentina are to prevail.

Israel Folau (Australia): Not only can Folau become the first Australian to score six tries in the Rugby Championship, he can also take another step towards breaking the record for Test tries in a calendar year. Folau has 11 so far and is six short of the record of 17 shared by Joe Rokocoko and Daisuke Ohata.

 

THE LINE-UPS

Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Emiliano Boffelli, Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Lucas Noguera, Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Marcos Kremer, Matias Alemanno, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Tomas Lezana.

Australia: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu,  Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon.

 

PRE-MATCH TALK

Argentina's dropped number eight Juan Manuel Leguizamon: "It is true that we are battling to achieve victories. However, no other group of rugby players in the world are playing Super Rugby for six months followed almost immediately by Tests. It is a very difficult situation, but offers us the opportunity to face some of the best teams in the world virtually every weekend."

Australia assistant coach Stephen Larkham on Argentina: "Coming up against New Zealand, South Africa and Australia - three of the top five teams in the world - on a continuous basis is really tough. Their world ranking [10th] probably does not do justice to how good they are. They have slid down the ladder because they play such strong opposition. 

 

OPTA STATS

- Australia have won 14 of their last 15 games against Argentina, including each of their last five clashes.

- Australia haven't won any of their last four games away from home (D1, L3), the last time they went longer without an away win was a five-game drought from 2008 to 2009 (L5).

- Argentina are the only team to average more than one card per game this tournament (five yellow, one red), while Australia are the only team yet to have a player sent from the field.

- Australia have scored 14 second-half tries so far this campaign, more than any other team in the competition, while Argentina have scored just four in the same period.

- Israel Folau has crossed the try line five times this campaign, more than any other player in the competition; no Australian has ever scored more than five in an edition of this competition (Folau scored five in 2013).