Wallabies focus on forward battle

Australia have made two injury-enforced changes to their pack, and strengthened their bench, for Saturday's clash against Argentina in Mendoza.

Rob Simmons (concussion) has been ruled out of the encounter and will be replaced in the second row by James Horwill.

The other change sees Scott Higginbotham starting at No 8 with Ben McCalman unavailable after injuring his shoulder at Newlands last weekend.

A number of changes have also been made on the bench with coach Ewen McKenzie opting for a forward-heavy 6-2 split.

It boasts four new faces in the forwards, including two potential debutants in back rower Jake Schatz and hooker Josh Mann-Rea, while lock Will Skelton and back rower Matt Hodgson also return to the match 23.

Kurtley Beale has been left out altogether after the ARU confirmed it had launched a probe into an incident which occurred when the Wallabies were flying from South Africa to Argentina.

'We recognise the need to have enough strike-power in the forwards to get us through the backend of the game, especially after such a physical encounter against South Africa followed by a difficult period of travel,' said McKenzie. 'That only leaves two spots for the backs, and we believe in this instance the combination of Nic White and Rob Horne will provide us with the best balance given the physicality we expect in this match.'

Wallabies – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Matt Hodgson, 22 Nic White, 23 Rob Horne.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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