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Sean McMahon to make Test return in Wallabies' clash with Pumas

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Sean McMahon will make his long-awaited return to the Test arena after he was named among the Wallabies replacements for their closing Rugby Championship clash with Argentina.

McMahon hasn't played for the national team since the Wallabies were thumped 53-24 by Scotland in the final game of their 2017 spring tour.

The 27-year-old back-rower will be joined on the bench alongside 38-year-old prop Greg Holmes, whose own Test drought extends even further back to 2015.

There are three changes to the starting side that defeated the Pumas in Townsville last week, with Pete Samu and Darcy Swain promoted to the run-on pack and Jordan Petaia coming onto the right wing.

Petaia's inclusion comes after Marika Koroibete left the Wallabies squad to return to his family in Melbourne, with Andrew Kellaway shifting to the left wing.

"Pete's been outstanding for us coming on as a replacement in the past few Tests and has earned his opportunity to show what he's capable of from the kick off this weekend," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.

"Both Greg and Sean have worked extremely hard on the field and around their detail off the field and they're both super excited to represent their country again on Saturday evening.

"We've felt really well supported during all of our Tests in Australia this year and we're looking to finishing the Rugby Championship with a performance the team and the country can be proud of."

Lachlan Lonergan, Jake Gordon and Tom Wright are the other new faces on the bench.

McMahon has spent the past four years with Suntory Sungoliath in the Japanese Top League and is contracted with the club through 2023.

But he will follow the lead of Suntory teammate Samu Kerevi in returning to the Wallabies squad under the tweaked conditions of Rugby Australia's [RA] Giteau Law.

RA has for the last two years given Wallabies coach Dave Rennie a wider remit to select players who do not meet the existing 60-Test or seven-year Super Rugby participation threshold, to help deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RA is currently reviewing its Giteau Law framework with an updated list of conditions set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper, veteran playmaker Quade Cooper and Kerevi have all returned to the Test scene after playing in Japan this season, the three men consistently among the team's top performers in Australia's three straight victories.

McMahon will bring a physical edge to the Wallabies back-row when he does come onto the field at Cbus Super Stadium, his robust defense and ball-carrying a welcomed addition to what is an improving forward unit.

Australia will face a weakened Pumas outfit after six players were withdrawn from selection after they broke tournament protocols and travelled into NSW to attend a health retreat.

What was set to be a full Cbus Super Stadium for the closing Rugby Championship double-header has now been reduced to 75% capacity.

The Queensland Government on Thursday morning updated the crowd limit for events in Brisbane and the Gold Coast -- which also includes the NRL Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium -- after further spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant in the region.

AUSTRALIA: Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Andrew Kellaway, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper, Pete Samu, Darcy Swain, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper. Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Angus Bell, Greg Holmes, Matt Philip, Sean McMahon, Jake Gordon, James O'Connor, Tom Wright.

ARGENTINA: Juan Cruz Mallia, Matias Moroni, Lucio Cinti, Santiago Chocobares, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Carreras, Gonzalo Bertranou, Rodrigo Bruni, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Enrique Pieretto, Julian Montoya, Rodrigo Martinez. Replacements: Facundo Bosch, Thomas Gallo, Eduardo Bello, Matias Alemanno, Francisco Gorrissen, Gonzalo Garcia, Domingo Miotti, Mateo Carreras