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Will Genia dropped, Ben Mowen to captain Wallabies

Will Genia has been dropped from the Wallabies starting side.

Will Genia has been dropped from the Wallabies starting side. Photo: Getty Images

The Wallabies have a new captain with Ben Mowen to lead the team into action against Argentina on Saturday night after Will Genia was dumped from the starting XV on Wednesday.

Mowen becomes the Wallabies sixth captain in two years and will take over the reins in just his seventh Test, making him one of the most inexperienced skippers in Australian history.

Halfback Genia has been axed to the bench with rookie Nic White to take over the No.9 duties.

James Slipper. Click for more photos

Wallabies team to face Argentina

The Wallabies have a new captain with Ben Mowen to lead the team into action against Argentina on Saturday night after Will Genia was dumped from the starting XV on Wednesday. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie revealed the decision to bench Genia was not taken lightly, "The fact that Will has captained his country shows what high regard we hold him in, and while he is naturally disappointed, I also know how competitive he is and I've got no doubts he will train himself to a standstill to bounce back as a better player," McKenzie said.

"We've spoken about what areas we believe he can continue to improve and evolve his game and he was receptive to going back and addressing those things.

"In the end, it wasn't an easy decision because he is undoubtedly a world-class player."

Ben Mowen will captain the Wallabies against Argentina on Saturday night.

Ben Mowen will captain the Wallabies against Argentina on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images

In other changes, prop Ben Alexander returns to the starting XV at tighthead while Quade Cooper retains his place at five-eighth.

White has only played 16 minutes of Test rugby and made his Wallabies debut last month.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has made changes as the team searches for a win to snap its four-game losing streak.

The Wallabies are already without regular captain James Horwill (hamstring) while leader David Pocock is still recovering from a knee reconstruction.

McKenzie hasn't won a match as Test coach after taking over from Robbie Deans in July.

A defeat at the hands of Argentina would be a massive blow to Australian rugby.

McKenzie remains confident of avoiding any banan skins against the Pumas, "Rugby is a game of chess and we will look forward to the challenge of getting the right balance and our first Rugby Championship win," the coach said.

Mowen only made his Test debut in June against the British and Irish Lions. In his six Tests, he has won just one match.

The ACT Brumbies captain has been outstanding at the Canberra franchise.

He moved to the capital at the start of the 2012 season for a fresh start after years at the NSW Waratahs trying to break into the Test squad.

Mowen feared his international window had closed.

But switching to the Brumbies has reinvigorated his career and he is widely regarded as one of the best leaders in Australian rugby.

At the start of the year Mowen turned down lucrative offers from Japan to stay in Australia and chase his Wallabies dreams.

It has paid off.

He helped guide the Brumbies into the Super Rugby final, made his international debut against the Lions and has established himself as a crucial cog in the Wallabies forward pack.

White will fill the hole left by Genia.

His kicking game will be a massive boost for the Wallabies but Genia's absence leaves a gaping hole in Australia's experience.

White sat on the bench behind Genia last year, but was never given a chance on the field.

When White made the tough choice to have shoulder surgery instead of playing in the Rugby Championship last year, Genia suffered a season-ending knee injury and Nick Phipps was given a chance in the Wallabies No.9 jersey.

But White continued his impressive rise from club rugby this season and has earned the right to test himself against the Pumas.

Wallabies team to play Argentina on Saturday in Perth: 1. James Slipper, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Kane Douglas, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Ben Mowen (c), 9. Nic White, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Nick Cummins, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14. James O'Connor, 15. Israel Folau. Reserves: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Sitaleki Timani, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Will Genia, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Tevita Kuridrani

The Wallabies have a new captain with Ben Mowen to lead the team into action against Argentina on Saturday night after Will Genia was dumped from the starting XV on Wednesday.

Mowen becomes the Wallabies sixth captain in two years and will take over the reins in just his seventh Test, making him one of the most inexperienced skippers in Australian history.

Halfback Genia has been axed to the bench with rookie Nic White to take over the No9 duties.

In other changes, prop Ben Alexander returns to the starting XV at tighthead while Quade Cooper retains his place at five-eighthTeam

White has only played 16 minutes of Test rugby and made his Wallabies debut last month.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has made changes as the team searches for a win to snap its four-game losing streak.

The Wallabies are already without regular captain James Horwill (hamstring) while leader David Pocock is still recovering from a knee reconstruction.

McKenzie hasn't won a match as Test coach after taking over from Robbie Deans in July.

A defeat at the hands of Argentina would be a massive blow to Australian rugby.

Mowen only made his Test debut in June against the British and Irish Lions.

In his six Tests, he has won just one match.

The ACT Brumbies captain has been outstanding at the Canberra franchise.

He moved to the capital at the start of the 2012 season for a fresh start after years at the NSW Waratahs trying to break into the Test squad.

Mowen feared his international window had closed.

But switching to the Brumbies has reinvigorated his career and he is widely regarded as one of the best leaders in Australian rugby.

At the start of the year Mowen turned down lucrative offers from Japan to stay in Australia and chase his Wallabies dreams.

It has paid off.

He helped guide the Brumbies into the Super Rugby final, made his international debut against the Lions and has established himself as a crucial cog in the Wallabies forward pack.

White will fill the hole left by Genia.

His kicking game will be a massive boost for the Wallabies but Genia's absence leaves a gaping hole in Australia's experience.

White sat on the bench behind Genia last year, but was never given a chance on the field.

When White made the tough choice to have shoulder surgery instead of playing in the Rugby Championship last year, Genia suffered a season-ending knee injury and Nick Phipps was given a chance in the Wallabies No9 jersey.

But White continued his impressive rise from club rugby this season and has earned the right to test himself against the Pumas.

Team: 1. James Slipper, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Kane Douglas, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Ben Mowen (c), 9. Nic White, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Nick Cummins, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14. James O'Connor, 15. Israel Folau.

Reserves: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Sitaleki Timani, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Will Genia, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Tevita Kuridrani

69 comments

  • YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good decision!!!!
    Just need Toomua on the outside of White!!!!!
    Go WALLIBIES, GO BOKKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Commenter
    OCLEE62
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 11:20AM
    • Agree! we need Toomua (and bring back Mogg).
      Cooper and Folau are flashy players without the killer intinct and need to earn a place from Toomua and Mogg.
      Cooper might as well not have been on the field against the Boks as all he did was get rid of the ball.
      Folau seems only interested in the flashy plays and gives up the chase too easily.
      Salaries too high and hairdos and tattoos more important than having the mongrel.
      White, Toomua and Mogg on the field please!

      Commenter
      auswik
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 12:43PM
    • White, Toomua, Ben Robinson & anyone to replace James O'Connor a must in the Wallabies

      Commenter
      Frank
      Location
      WA
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 7:09PM
  • I think Genia's benching is a good idea - whether or not it's due to his massive workload throughout the Super and Test rugby seasons, he's out of form. His delays in clearing the ball from the ruck and taking a few sideways steps are hurting a backline that is already struggling to reach the advantage line and this will hopefully give him some rest and reignite his hunger. He is our only truly world-class player and it's important for Australian rugby that Genia regain his form.

    What stuns me is that we are persisting with rotating Slipper, Kepu and Alexander as our starting props when our scrum has been consistently marched backwards each test. We need our strongest scrummagers starting, such as Scott Sio and Benn Robinson. The most important thing for us to work on right now is to stop going backwards - in scrums, in breakdowns and in failing to reach the advantage line.

    Commenter
    Ben
    Location
    Waratahland
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 11:25AM
    • what Ben said. The current front row is a joke and will cost us more games unless its changed.

      Commenter
      Taragone
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 4:32PM
    • Not sure what matches have you been watching but Slipper has been one of our best players, maybe a new forwards coach is the answer, how about Laurie Fisher?

      Commenter
      Mr Is
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 8:42AM
  • Lots of tall timber by comparison to the Argies. Gameplan should be all about territory. Kick for the corners and contest at lineouts. Winning some against the throw hopefully will help build some confidence and reflect across the park. Avoid scrums at all costs.

    Look for the Pumas to kick restarts out on the full for the scrum at halfway.

    Commenter
    Paul
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 11:30AM
    • ahh but tall timber means higher body positions, the argees gave away 50 odd kg to the ABs in scrums and hit low at the rucks. scrums aint the wallabies only worry going into this game also more importantly the argee look like they have a plan!

      Commenter
      tamaharry
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 1:16PM
  • Good work Ben Mowen, 6 test in the gold jumper and you are the leader

    is that a record of some sorts ?

    Good to see how much the wallabies Value who leads and who wears the jersey

    Pumas by 15+

    Commenter
    Rarule
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 11:31AM
    • Mowen has shown his leadership qualities at the Brumbies. Who else would you have as captain? Cooper, O'Connor or any of the other "veterans"?

      Commenter
      Mowen for PM
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 2:30PM

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