Reece Hodge, Rob Leota start for Wallabies against Argentina

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Should McMahon go straight into Wallabies starting side? (2:46)

The ESPN Scrum Reset team discuss if Sean McMahon comes straight into the Wallabies starting side. (2:46)

Reece Hodge has been given the nod at fullback to replace the injured Tom Banks in the Wallabies' Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in Townsville on Saturday night.

But there is no place in the matchday 23 for the returned Sean McMahon, with Rebels forward Rob Leota instead preferred in the No. 6 jersey in place of Lachie Swinton.

James O'Connor, meanwhile, will make his first appearance in the gold jersey this year after he was included on the bench.

Hodge and Leota are the only changes to the starting team that defeated the Springboks in Brisbane last Saturday, with coach Dave Rennie clearly looking for continuity of selection and the momentum that goes with it.

It will be Leota's maiden Test start with the Victorian's only other international involvement coming off the bench against South Africa on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.

"Big man, good ball carrier, has trained really well and been really close to selection in the past, so I think it's good time," Rennie said of Leota.

"We've been really impressed with Rob, he was outstanding in the Force hitout, he got a little cameo on the Gold Coast off the bench covering lock and carried well for us in that too. And we just see his ability to give us go-forward as important; Rob Valetini's done a lot of carrying for us as well."

Hodge has always loomed as the most likely option given he played 52 minutes in the position off the bench in Brisbane after Banks had left the field with a broken arm. The Brumbies flyer will be sidelined for the next six weeks.

Jordan Petaia, Andrew Kellaway and O'Connor were other options for the No. 15 jersey, but bringing the Wallabies veteran into the starting line-up would have always carried some risk given he hasn't played in over three months.

Hodge's inclusion gives the Wallabies another valuable kicking option in the backline, both out of hand and for long-range penalty attempts, his thumping right boot finding space late in last week's impressive 30-17 win over South Africa.

In the lead-up to Marika Koroibete's first try last Saturday, Hodge pounded a huge clearing kick downfield and then got up to make a thumping hit on Damian de Allende that jolted the ball free from the centre's grasp.

While he had some tough moments under the high ball, Hodge has played plenty of Super and Test rugby across the back three and has the added familiarity of having played alongside both Koroibete and Kellaway at the Rebels.

"Hodgey put down a couple of high balls last week but outside of that he was excellent. His kicking was great, his defence was really strong and I guess he's a guy who's filled a lot of holes for us and he's really keen to try and establish himself somewhere and 15's his favourite spot.

"There's no doubt we think [O'Connor] can play 15; he won't give us the wheels of other guys from the back but a calm head, smart kicking game, strong organiser. So will just see how things pan out in the next few weeks but really happy with our selection around Reece."

McMahon, meanwhile, was thought to be close to selection given he had joined the Wallabies camp in great shape despite his Japanese Top League season having concluded months ago. But the Queenslander will now have to wait at least another week before he gets the chance to play his first Test since 2017.

"I think he's fit enough but it's just around all the detail; it's not just about our attack structures or defence structures, it's the maul," Rennie said when asked about McMahon.

"But he's worked really hard, he's got himself in good nick, so he'll continue to press for selection next week.

"We're pretty keen to reward Rob who's been with us fulltime, so that's a big part of the decision."

The Wallabies are chasing a third straight victory after back-to-back wins over the Boks and could move into second on the Rugby Championship standings should they win and South Africa lose to New Zealand.

The All Blacks need only a solitary bonus point to clinch yet another Rugby Championship title and are heavy favourites to maintain their unbeaten run for 2021 in what is the 100th Test between the two great rivals.

Australia and Argentina drew both of their Tri Nations games in 2020.