Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano tears into the Cheetahs defence at Canberra Stadium yesterday.
Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano tears into the Cheetahs defence at Canberra Stadium yesterday. AAP

Brumbies playmaker recalled for match against Argentina

AFTER being cut from the Wallabies squad prior to the opening Rugby Championship match against South Africa, Brumbies playmaker Christian Lealiifano has been recalled for this weekend's match against Argentina in Mendoza.

Coach Michael Cheika said he had no hesitation calling up Lealiifano, who had been used as an additional training squad member in the lead-up to the Springboks match, after inside centre Matt Giteau sustained a sternum injury in the 24-20 win in Brisbane on Saturday night.

"It was a difficult call to leave Christian out of the original 31-man squad in the first place, and the way he handled himself at the time and during the past two weeks has been first class," Cheika said. "For the Wallabies to be successful, we need to have the belief that our depth can cover each position and I have that confidence in Christian."

Precautionary scans on his nose and chest cleared Giteau of any serious damage, but management chose to rest the French-based star for the next stage of the tournament.

"To send him over to Mendoza after a very physical test - as well as a tight turnaround - just isn't fair on him or the group," Cheika said.

Nick Cummins and Nic White have also joined the squad in place of winger Rob Horne (calf) and halfback Will Genia (knee).

SQUAD: A Ashley-Cooper, K Beale, Q Cooper, N Cummins, T Faulkner, S Fardy, I Folau, B Foley, J Hanson, S Higginbotham, G Holmes, M Hooper, J Horwill, S Kepu, T Kuridrani, C Lealiifano, S Moore (c), D Mitchell, B McCalman, S McMahon, D Mumm, N Phipps, D Pocock, T Polota-Nau, S Sio, R Simmons, W Skelton, J Slipper, M Toomua, J Tomane, N White.

- APN SPORTS BUREAU


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