three minutes. That’s where Dave Rennie’s try with Jordan Petaya ended at fullback, with the Reds switching to the wing for the Walleyes’ crunch test with Michael Cheka Pumas.
Instead, Rennie, as reported on Wednesday, turned to Tom Wright, who used a rare opportunity at fullback against England in Brisbane last month to solve the No 15 crisis after Petaya was forced off the field with concussion.
In the year The Colts have yet to nail down a replacement for the role since Israel Folau was fired at the start of 2019, and injuries have crowded the role over the years.
Wright, who got precious few minutes at the position due to his love affair with Tom Banks in Australian rugby, is the latest to be handed the jersey, with Andrew Kellaway, Banks and Kurtley Beale all absent.
But his decision to return to the Brumbies is surprising because the Walleyes considered Petaya a fullback of the future but walked away from him as soon as they gave him a chance.
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Petaya will start on the wing at Mendoza on Sunday (AEST) after Rennie’s side came away from the short-ball game against England in July and will pose an aerial threat to the Wallabies.
Wright reported on Monday that the Walleyes are looking to hit the ball harder in an attempt to break into the forward-heavy Pumas after Cheka was appointed head coach earlier this year.
“They play with a sense of frontline dominance and defensive style,” Wright said.
“So if you can, you try to find yourself on the toes, but the back is more likely.
“They’ve got decent line speed and they like to fill that forward line but it’s certainly not something we thought was a good chance against England.
“So your observation was spot on and maybe not so much on the fingers at first, but it’s definitely something that’s in our toolbox at all times.”
Petaya is one of seven changes to the squad that went down to England at the SCG last month, again highlighted by injury.
While Samu Kerevi was always going to miss the tour, an ACL injury has given Hunter Paisamy and Len Ikitau a chance to own the midfield.
They will benefit from the return of Quade Cooper in the No.10 jersey, with the experienced player set to go ahead of the first Test against England after picking up a limp in the warm-up.
Up front, Rennie has made a number of changes, with Dave Porky (concussion) joining Angus Bell on the injury list, introducing Folau Fainga’a at bay.
Allan Alaalato will start at tighthead prop Tanila Tupou, while Darcy Swain will return directly to partner Matt Phillips in the second row after completing his two-week suspension in Perth.
Jed Holloway will make his debut for the Blind side after being named alongside Michael Hooper and Rob Valletini.
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Reportedly, Rainey split six forwards, two backs on the bench.
Hooker Lachie Lonergan has been named for his debut this year, while prop Matt Gibbon is also in line to make his debut.
Elsewhere, Nick Frost, Rob Liotta and Pete Samu provide the Wallabies with some serious and versatile timber off the bench.
Halfback Jake Gordon and Reece Hodge will provide cover from the bench, with the latter serving as Cooper’s back-up should anything happen in what will be the 34-year-old’s first match in more than three months.
The Wallabies will play Argentina at the Medoza Estadio Malvinas.
1. James Slipper (117 attempts)
2. Sailing (28 trials)
3. Allan Ala’alatoa (55 tries)
4. Darcy Swain (11 tries)
5. Matt Phillips (23 tries)
6. Jade Holloway *
7. Michael Hooper (C) (121 attempts)
8. Rob Valentini (21 tries)
9. Nick White (50 attempts)
10. Quade Cooper (75 attempts)
11. Marika Koroibete (45 attempts)
12. Hunter Paysamy (17 attempts)
13. Len Ikitau (15 tries)
14. Jordan Petaya (18 tries)
15. Tom Wright (12 tries)
16. Lachlan Lonergan (4 tries)
17. Matt Gibbon*
18. Daniel Tupu (40 tries)
19. Nick Frost (2 tries)
20. Rob Leota (9 attempts)
21. Pete Samu (22 attempts)
22. Jake Gordon (12 attempts)
23. Reece Hodge (55 attempts)
* Shows unpacked