More tough decisions loom for Cheika

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will have plenty to occupy his mind when the team makes the long flight to Mendoza on Monday for the second Rugby Championship Test.

Winners they might have been over South Africa but Cheika has not been lulled into thinking it’s all beer and skittles on the road to the World Cup.

Tevita Kuridrani’s last-gasp try did not mask the deficiencies the Springboks exposed for the majority of Saturday night’s clash at Suncorp Stadium and now with form players starting to emerge and injury rearing its head for the first time, more tough decisions loom.

“I think I’ll make a couple (of changes), yeah,” Cheika said.

“I think we do have some guys who are ready-made to fill some spots this week but we’ll just see how we travel, arrive, get the first training run out of the way and take it from there.”

With Will Genia (knee) and Rob Horne (calf) ruled out until the Bledisloe Cup series, the first task is to re-jig the backline.

But whether Cheika simply replaces his injured players or looks to give the likes of Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale a run against Argentina on Sunday morning (AEST) remains to be seen.

Vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper, who was the lucky man on the end of a set piece move ripped straight from the Genia-Cooper-Giteau playbook in the first half against South Africa, is under no illusions after a first-up performance that left plenty of room for improvement.

“To be honest, I thought we picked up nicely where we left off from last season’s tour,” he said.

“Having Gits back in the squad was a nice addition, it kind of brought a lot of motivation back to the backline.

“But we’ve got a lot of areas to address moving forward as well, and Argentina’s going to be tough next week.”

Ashley-Cooper said the Wallabies had ample depth to cover for the loss of Genia with Nic White drafted into the squad to provide competition for Nick Phipps, who finished the game at halfback.

“It’s tough, you’ve got to feel for Will,” said Ashley-Cooper.

“He was performing quite well in that first half you never really want to see any type of injuries in the first match of the campaign.”

Question marks also hover over the make-up of the forward pack, with breakdown king David Pocock staking his claim for a start, Will Skelton perhaps at risk of losing his spot to James Horwill and a front-row in a state of flux, following the Boks’ domination of the scrum.

“Everybody added and that’s what they’re to do,” Cheika said.

“They’re not just there to come on when someone’s injured, they’re there to finish the game in a certain manner.”

Wallabies squad for Argentina: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Nick Cummins, Tetera Faulkner, Scott Fardy, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Matt Giteau, James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Greg Holmes, Michael Hooper, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Tevita Kuridrani, Stephen Moore (c), Drew Mitchell, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane, Nic White.

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