Argentina v Australia, Rugby Championship match preview
Last Updated: 04/10/13 12:15pm
Australia coach Ewen McKenzie is refusing to dwell on the possibility of being the first man to lead the Wallabies to the Rugby Championship wooden spoon.
The Wallabies take on Argentina in Rosario on Saturday with the winner avoiding the ignominy of finishing bottom of the four-team table.
That fate has never previously befallen Australia and McKenzie is not giving the prospect of it happening now too much thought ahead of the clash at the Estadio Gigante de Arroyito stadium.
"There's not much point in filling the players' heads with the negatives," McKenzie said.
"We look at this as an opportunity to beat Argentina here.
"This hasn't been an easy place for Australia to play ever, so you concentrate on that bit instead of worrying about the what-ifs or the negatives."
McKenzie succeeded Robbie Deans as boss after the series defeat to the British and Irish Lions and has struggled.
The Wallabies, whose only win in the 2013 Rugby Championship came against the Pumas in Perth, would slip to sixth in the world rankings if they lose by 15 points or more - a new low since the system was introduced in 2003.
And while the former Australia prop admits he is frustrated with the number of defeats suffered, he insists progress should not be judged solely on results.
"You can gloss over those sorts of things but I tend to look at the business in its totality," he added.
"To set it up properly and give us a decent platform to go forward there's a few hard decisions.
"That doesn't mean that I'm happy with results because I'm as impatient as everyone."
Coach Santiago Phelan has made three changes to Argentina's starting line-up as they again bid for their first-ever victory since joining the competition last season.
Felipe Contepomi will replace Santiago Fernandez at centre, while in the backs Horacio Agulla has come in for Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino. Key prop Juan Figallo is injured and has been replaced by Juan Pablo Orlandi.
Contepomi is certain Orlandi will rise to the challenge.
"Any player you have in your starting 15 and you lose it's a big blow especially for us as we don't have a lot of depth like other teams," Contepomi told rugby.com.au.
"But we've lost our captain (Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe) for the first two games and we've lost Pato Albacete, a very influential player for the first four games, and we still got through.
"Obviously we would love to have him (Figallo), we can put that as an excuse but it's not really.
"We are confident that Juan Pablo Orlandi will do a great job and have confidence in playing with him and he will be very confident on getting onto that pitch and doing the job."
Argentina: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Julio Farias Cabello, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Matias Diaz, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Benjamn Macome, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Fernandez, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Bernard Foley.
Argentina v Australia will be live on Sky Sports 4 HD from 11.30pm or you can watch all the action unfold with a 24-hour Sky Sports Day Pass from NOW TV. For more information visit click here
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