Rugby-Wallabies must back up Springbok wins, say young guns

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia young guns Darcy Swain and Len Ikitau are convinced the back-to-back wins over world champions South Africa will be quickly forgotten if the Wallabies don't beat Argentina in the Rugby Championship this weekend.

Ikitau cemented his burgeoning reputation by scoring his first international tries with a brace against the Springboks last Saturday, while lock Swain came off the bench to win his seventh cap in the 30-17 victory in Brisbane.

That secured Australia's first successive test wins since Dave Rennie took over as coach in 2019, and a jump to third place in the world rankings.

Both Swain and Ikitau emphasised, however, that a third straight victory on Saturday against the winless Pumas -- who held Australia to two draws last year -- was essential.

"They're a great side and we know that they play with a lot of physicality and a lot of passion," Swain told reporters from Townsville.

"We'll give them the same respect as we give South Africa and New Zealand. We've got to be good both sides of the ball and hopefully get the win.

"The last two games, great wins but they count for nothing if we don't back it up. No one will remember two wins against South Africa, everyone will remember us losing to Argentina."

Despite both enjoying breakout years in their maiden test seasons, neither of the two former Brisbane school mates can count on retaining their places in the side as Rennie starts to build depth in his squad.

Both agreed, however, that strong competition in the squad could only be a good thing for the Wallabies.

"Everyone's kind of pushing forward and trying to make the team better," said 22-year-old Ikitau, who on Tuesday signed a two-year contract extension with Rugby Australia and the ACT Brumbies.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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