Michael Cheika will attempt to plot Australia's downfall during the Rugby Championship after taking up a role with Argentina. 

Cheika, who stepped down as Wallabies head coach following the Rugby World Cup last October, has agreed to work as an external advisor for Pumas boss Mario Ledesma, who served as his assistant during his Australia tenure. 

Ledesma believes Cheika can have a significant influence during the six-week tournament in Australia, which starts on November 7. 

"With Michael, we started talking at the beginning of the year," Ledesma said. 

"I proposed to him the idea of working together again and he was immediately interested. We agreed from the first moment. I noticed [he was] very excited. He always liked Argentine rugby a lot. 

"He is a person who can bring us a lot of experience both to the group of players and to the staff. As was the incorporation of 'Tano' [Marcelo Loffreda], in the first days of August. 

"Undoubtedly, it is an excellent opportunity to continue learning because he is a person who thinks a lot about things outside the box who has an innovative and super creative vision, different from that of many coaches that I could cross. 

"In addition, when the Championship was confirmed in Australia, we were able to dialogue and listen to their recommendations about places to train, schedules and even issues related to the weather. 

"For his part, we have already been conducting several talks with him and the entire staff, about issues of the game, defence, attack, types of exercises, individual techniques and others. So that exchange was spectacular."

Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the one-off Test against Afghanistan and the ODI series against New Zealand have been postponed due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Australia were due to face Afghanistan in the longest format for the first time in Perth in November, but that one-off game will not go ahead as planned. 

The rescheduled IPL season - which is due to finish in early November - created issues over Australian players quarantining upon their return from the Twenty20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates. 

New Zealand's limited-overs tour in January 2021 has also been called off amid "the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions" caused by the global health pandemic. 

CA hopes to find new dates for the fixtures in the coming years, with the postponements meaning India will be the only international side to visit Australia during the 2020-21 season.

"Cricket Australia looks forward to working with our good friends at the Afghanistan Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket to deliver the matches at a time when, hopefully, the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have eased," CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley said in a statement.

"We all worked incredibly hard to make the series happen this summer, but the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions ultimately convinced all parties that the series would need to be played at a later date.

"CA looks forward to welcoming the Indian men's team for a full schedule of matches this summer in what promises to be an incredible contest across all three formats.

"CA would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful partners for their understanding and support as we have navigated the complexities of hosting international sport during a pandemic to deliver a thrilling summer across men's and women's cricket at international and domestic level."

Australia are due to face India in a four-Test series, as well as three one-dayers and a trio of Twenty20 fixtures. Details over the schedule are yet to be confirmed.

Rugby Australia has vowed to do "everything in its power" to find a "reasonable resolution" after New Zealand Rugby (NZR) refused to rule out boycotting the Rugby Championship.

NZR on Thursday stated it had not agreed to a schedule that is due to see the All Blacks play their last match of a six-week tournament on December 12, which would leave the players in quarantine for Christmas.

Mark Robinson, the NZR chief executive, said the fixture list broke a commitment from Rugby Australia and governing body SANZAAR for the All Blacks to play their final game of the competition on December 5 - enabling them to spend the festive period with their families.

Rugby Australia interim chief executive Rob Clarke says there is ample time to reach an agreement over the scheduling and is confident the four-team competition will be a success.

Clarke said: "For absolute clarity - on two formal occasions - Rugby Australia was supportive of altering the draw so that the Rugby Championship could be played over five weeks.

"On both occasions, that proposal was rejected which means there was never an agreement to finish the tournament on Saturday 5 December 2020.

"That being said, no one wants players and team management to be away from their families and in quarantine over Christmas."

Clarke added: "Rugby Australia will do everything in its power to help assist New Zealand Rugby and the team in finding a reasonable resolution, and in urging them to exhaust every possible alternative.

"There are still more than two months to go before December 12 so we have plenty of time to find a solution.

"We will continue to work with New Zealand Rugby and support them however we can, just like we are doing with the Springboks and Argentina in assisting with their travel plans, as well as making their stay in Australia as safe and as comfortable as possible during the tournament.

"There have been a number of sacrifices made by each of the SANZAAR joint venture partners to get this far and I want to thank all of them for their flexibility and adaptability.

"There is obviously a lot to achieve in the coming months but I'm confident that under the leadership of each of the joint venture partners, that the 2020 Rugby Championship in Australia will be a great success."

Australia's new era will begin with the same captain as Michael Hooper was reappointed by Dave Rennie on Wednesday.

Head coach Rennie, who replaced Michael Cheika after last year's Rugby World Cup but began work in June, named a youthful first squad earlier this month - including 16 uncapped players, eight of whom debuted in Super Rugby this season.

However, there was still room for six-year Wallabies skipper Hooper, although no captain was initially indicated in the selection.

Rennie had previously said no decision had yet been made on the identity of his on-field leader, but he announced a "straightforward decision" on Wednesday.

"I've been really impressed with Hoops," Rennie said. "We've spoken a lot over the past nine months and it's highlighted his passion and commitment.

"He's a good man with an outstanding work ethic and he's a great role model for our young men coming through.

"He's keen to lead and is highly respected by the Wallaby family. In the end, his appointment was a straightforward decision."

Hooper added: "It's an absolute honour to be the Wallabies captain and I want to thank Dave and the Wallabies management team, as well as Rugby Australia, for their support and endorsement. 

"It's a privilege to wear the Wallabies jersey, I feel proud to lead my team-mates and to represent those players that have before and all Australians.

"I'm really excited about this group and the direction we are heading. We have already spent some quality time together, defining who we are and what we stand for and what we plan to achieve in the coming months."

Samantha Wallace, Jhaniele Fowler and Romelda Aiken were all winners in Round 13 of the Suncorp Super Netball League on the weekend.

Shimona Nelson scored a team-high 40 goals on Wednesday but the Collingwood Magpies suffered its 12th loss of the Suncorp Super Netball season.

In the match played at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, Nelson scored her goals from just 44 attempts but the cellar-dwellers were never in a position to claim what would have been only their second win of the season, losing 63-53 to second-placed Sunshine Coast Lightning.

Led by Cara Koenen’s 41 goals from 45 attempts, the Lightning won each quarter 16-12, 19-15, 14-13, 14-13 for their ninth win of the season.

Nelson teammate Gabrielle Sinclair shot seven of nine in the losing effort.

Glenn Maxwell said he had "freedom" to attack after delivering a stunning century to guide Australia past England in the third ODI.

With Australia chasing 303 for victory in Manchester on Wednesday, Maxwell arrived at the crease with the tourists reeling at 73-5 in the series decider.

But Maxwell (108 off 90 balls) and Alex Carey (106 off 114) combined for a 212-run partnership as Australia reached the target with two balls to spare.

Maxwell, who scored his second ODI century and first since 2015, said he felt free to play his aggressive game with Australia in such a poor position.

"I was probably thinking that we haven't got much to lose so I had a bit of freedom I suppose to try and take the bowling on and put a bit more pressure on them," he told reporters.

"I thought if I could make the most of that short boundary as much as I could early on and just back my bat swing. There was a fair bit of a breeze heading that way as well so I just tried to get it up in the air and I was able to get a couple pretty clean early on in the innings and then hopefully start to build a partnership with Alex.

"I knew once I started to get into the innings they would start to bowl a bit differently to me and I might be able to cash in on some loose balls, but everything pretty much went to plan.

"The way our partnership built was outstanding so it was good fun out there and I'm really happy to get that result."

Jonny Bairstow's 112 had earlier helped England to 302-7 after they elected to bat first at Old Trafford.

England captain Eoin Morgan accepted Australia were simply too good for his side.

"We were still in the game. When you break big partnerships and the ball is offering a bit, you're never out of the game," he said.

"But Australia were too good for us … we were right in the game but Carey and Maxwell played outstandingly well."

Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey scored magnificent centuries as Australia claimed a three-wicket victory over England in a thrilling ODI series decider at Old Trafford.

Australia had been reduced to 73-5 in response to England's 302-7 and looked to be on the brink of defeat, but they were rescued by their highest-ever ODI sixth-wicket partnership of 212.

Maxwell hit seven maximums as he racked up 108 runs from 90 balls – his highest score in the 50-over format – while Carey added 106 for his maiden ton.

Both players were dismissed as part of a dramatic finale, but Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins got the 10 runs required from the final over as the tourists won with just two balls to spare.

Earlier, an astonishing start to Wednesday's play saw England lose Jason Roy and Joe Root in the first two deliveries of the day, as Starc set about dismantling England's top order.

Yet Jonny Bairstow (112) led a superb counter-attack that had not only given the hosts a fighting chance, but put Australia on the back foot.

Chris Woakes and Root took two wickets apiece in the early stages of Australia's reply as England took control.

But Maxwell and Carey's heroics flipped the script and meant it was Australia who won 2-1, avenging their loss by the same scoreline in the trio of T20I matches.

Australia coach Justin Langer has admitted the team could have discussed continuing a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, during the ongoing tour of England, but insists there was no disrespect or disregard meant.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was recently critical of both teams, as he pointed out that they had ditched the symbolic taking a knee gesture during the ongoing series. England and the West Indies showed support for the movement before all three Tests at the start of the season, and the practice continued for the one-day series against Ireland. It has not been seen for the visits of Pakistan and Australia.

While insisting that the team had not forgotten the issue, Langer pointed out that Australia had simply been focused on the series and unusual circumstances, but that in retrospect there could have been more discussions surrounding the issue.

“When Mikey says what he says, it’s certainly worth listening to. In terms of taking a knee, to be completely honest, we could have talked more about it perhaps leading up to the first game,” Langer said.

“There was so much going on leading up to us getting here, maybe we should have talked more about it,” he added.

“What we do talk about within the team was that we want to have a response that is sustained and powerful and that it can go not just in one action but a sustained period. Not just throughout this series and the summer but throughout time.

“I just hope if it looked like there was a lack of respect, it wasn’t the intention of our team. We were very aware of it.”

England pace bowler Jofra Archer had issued a much sharper response, insisting that England had not forgotten the issue and that Holding should have “done his research”.

Australia suffered another batting collapse as England fought back from the brink to draw level in their ODI series with a brilliant 24-run victory at Old Trafford.

Eoin Morgan's side came back in thrilling fashion in the opening Twenty20 against Australia earlier in September, and the tourists snatched defeat from what looked set at one point to be a comfortable triumph in Manchester.

Four wickets – one from Jofra Archer (3-34) and three from Chris Woakes (3-32) – in a fantastic five-over spell in the middle of Australia's innings reduced Justin Langer's side from 142-2 to 147-6.

Australia's collapse came on the back of a strong start from Aaron Finch (73), whose side had ripped through England's top order after Morgan elected to bat first.

Adam Zampa (3-36) was the pick of Australia's bowling attack, which had England on the ropes until a stand of 76 between Tom Curran (37) and Adil Rashid (35 not out) helped the hosts finish on 231-9.

Yet despite Finch and Marnus Labuschagne (48) looked to be ticking Australia towards a series win, England rallied – Sam Curran (3-35) wrapping up the victory after Woakes and Archer dismantled the tourists' middle-order.

 

Dave Rennie has named 16 uncapped players in an extended 44-man squad for Australia's Test season.

Australia will play two Tests away to New Zealand in October before hosting The Rugby Championship from November.

Rennie, who took over from Michael Cheika as head coach last November after a quarter-final elimination at the Rugby World Cup, selected a youthful squad.

Of the 16 uncapped names, eight have only made their Super Rugby debuts this season, while 13 of the other players included have under 10 international caps.

No captain was named but incumbent Michael Hooper is among the more experienced players picked in the group.

Rugby Australia had permitted two overseas players to be named in the squad but ultimately none were selected, though Tolu Latu may still be called up depending on the severity of an injury to Jordan Uelese.

Injuries for Matt Toomua, Jordan Petaia and Dane Haylett-Petty will also be monitored.

"This is a really exciting day for us," said Rennie.

"We've picked this squad on form and on potential and I know the whole group are chomping at the bit to get stuck in and push their case for a Wallaby jersey.

"There's a big game [the Super Rugby Au final] to come on Saturday night down in Canberra but personally, I'm really looking forward to getting out on the grass in a week's time to start putting in the work together.

"When we picked the squad, we had to consider how we will handle the rigours of the Test calendar ahead.

"It is obviously a big squad which is due to COVID restrictions as we can't bring players in and out but each of one them is there on merit."

The Brumbies were the best represented team with 13 selections.
 

Australia squad: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa'amausili, Folau Fainga'a, Jake Gordon, Ned Hanigan, Will Harrison, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Tom Horton, Trevor Hosea, Len Ikitau, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Marika Korobiete, Noah Lolesio, Jack Maddocks, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, James O'Connor, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Joe Powell, James Ramm, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Irae Simone, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Lachie Swinton, Matt To'omua, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright, Tom Wright.

England captain Eoin Morgan conceded his side's poor batting display in the opening 10 overs ultimately cost them in the first ODI against Australia.

Australia earned a 19-run triumph at Old Trafford on Friday, as England failed to hunt down what would have been a record ODI run chase of 295 for the Manchester venue.

Jason Roy and Joe Root both fell in the first 10 overs, while Morgan and Jos Buttler struggled.

Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, who scored his maiden ODI century, offered some gallant resistance, but it was not enough to stop Australia – who had Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell to thank – taking the lead in the three-match series.

"It probably got away from us in the first 10 overs with the bat," Morgan told Sky Sports.

"They bowled outstandingly well, they didn't give us much to get away with.

"I thought we did a reasonable job with the ball, a reasonable score we could chase down with a few partnerships.

"Jonny and Sam, keeping us in the game so long, if we could have extended that partnership past the 40th over we could really have been in an commanding position, but full credit to Australia, they outplayed us today.

"I think they did well. You can always be greedy and want more, but I think we did well too. An area of our game we're looking to improve is taking wickets early and we did that. To be in that position was great. An outstanding performance would have been to continue to take wickets but we didn't."

Billings has made the most of a chance to shine in England's white-ball series this year and capped a fine individual display with an outstanding 118. 

Morgan said of the Kent batsman: "Sam's opportunities over the last four years have been extremely limited and sporadic at times, but to come in and still show hunger and desire in his training and then to come in and get his maiden one-day hundred today is outstanding. It shows a lot of resilience and a lot of character.

"When Ben Stokes is missing he leaves a big hole and we tend to have a lot of players vying for places who bat in the top four for their county.

"So batting at six is an area we need to improve our depth and Sam has added to that today."

Australia took first blood in their ODI series with England as Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood shone in a 19-run win at Old Trafford, where Sam Billings' maiden international century was in vain.

Without Steve Smith – who suffered a blow to the head in training on Thursday – Australia still managed to set a target of 295, leaving England facing a record run chase in an ODI at Old Trafford to secure victory.

Marsh (73) and Maxwell (77) were in superb form with the bat, with their century stand taking the tourists from 123-5 to 249-6.

Maxwell eventually succumbed to an excellent ball from Jofra Archer, who had dismissed David Warner (6) with a magnificent delivery early on.

Marsh was pinned lbw by Mark Wood as Australia lost late wickets, though hosts England were then reeling at 57-4 in the 17th over of their reply, with Hazlewood (3-26) in fine fettle.

Jonny Bairstow (84) and Billings (118) took the fight back to Australia, yet England ultimately fell short on 275-9 as the world champions succumbed to a second defeat from the last three 50-over meetings with their great rivals.

Archer's wicked bowling sent Warner's stumps flying in the fourth over, and Wood had Aaron Finch (16) walking soon after when Australia's captain clipped an edge to Jos Buttler.

Wood and Buttler combined again to dismiss Marcus Stoinis for 43 in the 16th over, with Adil Rashid dismissing Marnus Labuschagne (21) lbw soon after.

Alex Carey fared little better against Rashid four overs later, yet Marsh and Maxwell steadied the innings.

While Marsh ticked over, Maxwell wasted little time in getting into his stride, and moved to 50 two balls after hitting Rashid for a huge six over midwicket.

Archer was the recipient of similar treatment for back-to-back sixes in the 44th over, yet he had his revenge the next ball when Maxwell dragged a slower delivery onto his stumps.

Pat Cummins (9) fell in Archer's next over, with Wood sending Marsh back to the pavilion and Chris Woakes dismissing Alex Zampa (5), before Mitchell Starc hit a six from the last ball of the innings as Australia finished on 264-9.

Hazlewood started impressively with the ball, taking a wonderful one-handed catch to dismiss Jason Roy (3) from his own bowling in the fourth over, and the paceman had his second wicket when Joe Root edged to Carey on one.

Two fours and a big six from Eoin Morgan (23) got England back on track, though the home captain soon picked out Maxwell from a Zampa delivery.

Zampa had a second wicket when Labuschagne took a smart catch to dismiss Buttler, and it was then that Bairstow and Billings began to unleash some thumping shots.

Bairstow, after hitting four fours and four sixes, was out in the 36th over – Hazlewood racing around in the outfield to take a fantastic diving catch – with Moeen Ali following quickly.

With Billings still in, England had hope, and despite losing Woakes and Rashid, he played some inventive shots as he moved beyond 100.

However, with 28 needed from the final over, England did not have enough fire-power – Marsh having the final say as he ended Billings' defiance to wrap up an impressive win.

Cricket commentator has taken the England Cricket Board to task for not continuing the practice of players taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) for their series against both Pakistan and now Australia.

England's Dawid Malan has replaced Babar Azam as the world's best T20 batsman in the ICC's latest T20 rankings.

Malan, who remains without a central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board, was fifth in the previous standings but scored a series-leading 129 runs across the three encounters with Australia.

Having amassed a combined 108 in the first two T20s, Malan had a higher average than Virat Kohli - the highest T20 ranked batsman of all time - though his average has slipped to 48.71 from his 16 internationals after he was out for 21 on Tuesday.

His previous highest place in the rankings was second last year but Malan has now gone ahead of Pakistan captain Babar by eight points.

Babar, Australia captain Aaron Finch, India's KL Rahul and New Zealand's Colin Munro make up the rest of the top five.

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan remains the top-ranked T20 bowler, though England's leg spinner Adil Rashid has moved up two spots to seventh in a top 10 that features just one seamer - Australia's Kane Richardson in 10th.

There was no change at the top of the all-rounder rankings either, with Rashid's international team-mate Mohammad Nabi remaining ahead of Australia's Glenn Maxwell, who moved up to second above Zimbabwe's Sean Williams.

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