Argentina

Argentina make two changes for England

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Veteran hooker Mario Ledesma and lock Rimas Alvarez Kairelis reunite for Argentina against England in the second rugby test on Saturday after battling each other in last weekend’s French Top 14 final.


Alvarez’s Perpignan prevailed over Ledesma’s Clermont 22-13 at Stade de France for its first championship since 1955.


Meanwhile, their fellow Pumas were making history on the same Saturday, too, playing for the first time at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. But the occasion was soured as Argentina was run over by England 37-15.


The severity of the defeat made Pumas coach Santiago Phelan announce seven changes to his lineup.


Ledesma, with 68 caps since 1996, and Leicester’s Marcos Ayerza replace Juan Pablo Orlandi and Alberto Vernet Basualdo in the front row.


Alvarez takes over from Manuel Carizza, and Genaro Fessia will wear No. 6 instead of Alvaro Galindo.


Scrumhalf Alfredo Lalanne will make only his second start, sending the more experienced Nicolas Vergallo to the bench in an attempt by Phelan to add speed behind the pack. In the only other changes, winger Francisco Leonelli and center Santiago Fernandez replace Federico Martin Aramburu and Miguel Avramovic, respectively.


“The Pumas have made some changes and at home they will be an even bigger challenge than they were last weekend,” England winger Mark Cueto said. “Despite the scoreline, they were very tough to beat and they will be even stronger this time around.”


England hosted the first match at Argentina’s request to help the latter’s bank account, and the match reportedly netted up to $800,000 for the Argentine Rugby Union.


But England’s charity also ended last weekend, and manager Martin Johnson made only two changes.


Chris Robshaw, the Harlequins flanker who was named English Pemiership player of the season, will make his debut, and prop Julian White, who earned his 50th cap with seven minutes and a yellow card off the bench last weekend, will start instead for last week’s debutant David Wilson, who moves into the reserves.


The other two newcomers, backs Tom May and Matt Banahan, retained their places.


Captain Steve Borthwick wins his 50th cap eight years after his debut as England attempts to end its season with a fourth successive win.


Lineups:


Argentina:


Horacio Agulla, Francisco Leonelli, Gonzalo Tiesi, Santiago Fernandez, Gonzalo Camacho, Juan Martin Hernandez, Alfredo Lalanne, Juan Fernandez Lobbe (captain), Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Genaro Fessia, Patricio Albacete, Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, Marcos Ayerza, Mario Ledesma, Rodrigo Roncero.


Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Manuel Carizza, Esteban Lozada, Nicolas Vergallo, Miguel Avramovic, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.


England:


Delon Armitage, Mark Cueto, Dan Hipkiss, Tom May, Matt Banahan, Andy Goode, Danny Care, Nick Easter, Steffon Armitage, Chris Robshaw, Louis Deacon, Steve Borthwick (captain), Julian White, Dylan Hartley, Tim Payne.


Replacements: George Chuter, David Wilson, Ben Kay, James Haskell, Paul Hodgson, Sam Vesty, Mathew Tait.

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