Wallabies coach Robbie Deans named James O’Connor as his preferred playmaker in a 25-man squad to face the British and Irish Lions, while leaving the selection door open for the omitted Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale.
Australia picked rookie prop Paddy Ryan in a 30-man rugby squad to tour Europe next month, when flanker David Pocock will make his return from a knee injury. Fellow back-rower Scott Higginbotham was omitted.
Australia retained Berrick Barnes at fly-half and omitted Quade Cooper for this week’s Rugby Championship opener against world champion New Zealand. Juan Martin Hernandez will make his first start in more than three years for Argentina’s tournament debut in South Africa.
Australia made four starting changes for this weekend’s final Bledisloe Cup rugby Test against New Zealand in Brisbane, where the Wallabies will try to prevent the All Blacks from tying their record winning run.
New Zealand beat Argentina 21-5 to lead the Rugby Championship at the halfway stage, as Australia rallied to defeat South Africa 26-19 for its first victory in the expanded southern hemisphere tournament.