Wallaby Israel Folau takes on Argentina during the Test at Patersons Stadium last month.
Wallaby Israel Folau takes on Argentina during the Test at Patersons Stadium last month. Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Visitors won’t be dragged down

ARGENTINA has not beaten Australia since 1997 and is yet to win a game in the Rugby Championship since joining the four-nation tournament two years ago.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is determined to keep it that way when his side clashes with the Pumas in their final Test of this year's competition in Rosario tomorrow morning (7.30am AEST).

McKenzie knows only a victory will do if he is to avoid becoming the first Australian coach to collect the wooden spoon in the championship.

Losing by 15 points or more would also see France and Wales relegate Australia from fourth to sixth in the world rankings - a new low since the system was introduced in 2003.

The Wallabies have won just once since McKenzie took over after Robbie Deans was sacked following the series loss to the British and Irish Lions - a 14-13 victory against the Pumas in Perth last month.

He is under no illusions how hard the hosts are going to make life for his side, even if the Wallabies did win 25-19 at the same venue last season.

"The reality is we are fighting for the wrong end of the competition, so we have to get out there and make good things happen," McKenzie said. "You always get something out of dealing with adversity and I'm confident we will eventually click. We've got a good bunch of guys who are working hard, so there aren't any reasons to expect they shouldn't put in a good performance this weekend."

Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia returns to the starting line-up in place of Nic White, while NSW playmaker Bernard Foley is set to make his Test debut after being named on the bench.

McKenzie said Foley deserved his chance.

"Foles has been around the edges of the Australian squad for about 12 months now. He had a great year with the Waratahs and keeps on getting better and better," he said.

"It's only natural that you try and find opportunities for a player like that and we are looking forward to seeing how he will go on the field."

Argentina will be without prop Juan Figallo after he withdrew with a neck and back problem and he has been replaced in the run on side by Juan Pablo Orlandi.

But it's not only who gets the wooden spoon that will be decided this weekend - who will win the Rugby Championship will be settled when South Africa and New Zealand collide at Johannesburg's Ellis Park in the early hours of tomorrow morning (1am AEST)

The Springboks must score four tries and win by more than seven points if they are to beat the world champion All Blacks to the title.



Israel Folau; Adam Ashley- Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Joe Tomane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; Rob Simmons, James Horwill (capt); Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Reserves: Saia Fainga'a, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Sitaleki Timani, Ben McCalman, Nic White, Matt Toomua, Bernard Foley

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