Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade says that the Jaguares playing Super Rugby has helped the Pumas adapt to Test Rugby ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Argentina’s Pumas host the All Blacks on Saturday (Sunday in NZ) in Buenos Aires and will be hoping for their first ever victory over New Zealand.
Hourcade’s Pumas beat South Africa’s Springboks in their last home match and have always been more competitive at home.
In their last meeting with the All Blacks the Pumas pushed the New Zealand side for the first 50 minutes after which point the All Black bench lifted the side to a comfortable victory on the scoreboard.
The Pumas could be without their inspirational captain Agustin Creevy this weekend after he sustained an injury in Argentina’s loss to Australia in Round 4.
Creevy and lock Guido Petti will both have pass fitness Tests before Hourcade can name his side to play in the return match against the All Blacks.
The Pumas will definitely be without Juan Martin Hernandez after he suffered a meniscus injury and has been ruled out for a month.
“Playing New Zealand and Australia is helping us continue to gain experience, to improve our game and to continue to grow as we build towards our main objective, the 2019 World Cup,” said Hourcade on the All Black site
“Each opponent we face in the meantime will be part of that process and whether we win or not will depend on what we do on the field, but the goal always is to achieve the best possible result,” he said.
Hourcade said that it had been helpful to have already played Australia and New Zealand as it gives him a recent account of where their strengths and weaknesses against the sides.
“It allows you to better analyse and emphasise the details for each match,” he said.
“It is a long and hard season, but it’s just what we wanted. We have to adapt to different but the experience we have had with Super Rugby has helped the Pumas.”
“I have no doubt that this is helping us grow and will help us meet our goals,” he said.
Argentina play New Zealand this weekend and then head to England to play Australia at Twickenham in the final match of the Rugby Championship.