Wallabies coach wants more freedom

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is urging his team to play with more freedom as he prepares to unleash up to two more debutants.

The Wallabies ended their six-match losing run with a 23-17 triumph over South Africa in Brisbane last week and will aim to make it two Rugby Championship victories on the trot when they take on Argentina in Perth on Saturday night.

Cheika was far from satisfied with the drought-breaking win over the Springboks, believing his team aren’t playing anywhere near their peak.

But the veteran coach is also aware they need more time to gel following a raft of changes since last year’s World Cup.

Cheika has already handed debuts to seven players this year and with prop Allan Alaalatoa out with a knee injury, the number will swell to at least eight, with Tom Robertson in line to feature against Argentina.

Cheika said second-rower Lopeti Timani was also in the frame.

“This 2016 team is a very new combination,” he said.

“If you look at it compared to the squad that went to the World Cup, there’s over 10 different players in the 30 that’s here.

“So it’s a very new mix and they’re building they’re own little history.

“We’re a little step of the way there but we’ve still got plenty to do.”

The Wallabies trailed 14-3 against South Africa before tries to Adam Coleman and Bernard Foley dug them out of that hole.

Cheika said although the confidence-boosting win was important, it was scratchy.

“Yes, it was good to win and a good feeling but I’m keen for us to play better.

“Considering the context of the game and where we were, there was always going to be a bit of anxiety around … as opposed to playing a bit freer.

“I want us to free ourselves up and play a bit more footy.”

Argentina are set to provide the Wallabies with another stern test.

The Pumas beat South Africa late last month and gave New Zealand a major scare last Saturday with a spirited display.

They trailed the All Blacks by just two points in the 50th minute, before the world champions went on a try-scoring rampage to secure a 57-22 win.

The Pumas’ no-fear approach has been a highlight of their play but Cheika isn’t surprised.

“That’s the way you should play rugby – no fear,” he said.

“What’s to fear? We’re playing a game. We should be enjoying it.

“So if that’s their attitude, which it looks like it is, then good on them.”

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