Rugby Championship News

Argentina make six changes for New Zealand





Argentina have made six changes for their Rugby Championship Test against the New Zealand All Blacks in La Plata on Saturday.

Out of the team beaten 14-13 in Australia this month go four backs –right-wing Horacio Agulla, centres Gonzalo Tiesi and Felipe Contepomi and scrum-half Tomas Cubelli.

Their places are taken by Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino on the wing, Marcelo Bosch and Santiago Fernandez in the centre, and Martin Landajo at scrum-half.

Among the forwards, fit-again lock Patricio Albacete replaces Manuel Carizza and there is also a change at hooker with Eusebio Guinazu returning in place of Agustin Creevy.

Agulla, Contepomi, Cubelli and Creevy are on the bench while Tiesi and Carizza drop out of the matchday 23 for the fifth-round match.

“We made the changes believing this is the best starting line-up to face the All Blacks,” coach Santiago Phelan said after naming his team.

“I was in the pleasant situation of having options for each position. The squad is fresh, enthusiastic and ready for the huge challenge ahead.

“The players are adapting to facing the three best rugby nations,” said Phelan, whose advisors include 2011 New Zealand Rugby World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry.

Argentina debuted in the southern hemisphere championship last year and took a 54-15 hiding from the All Blacks at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata.

But they were unlucky 22-17 losers to South Africa in the first home match this year in western city Mendoza and Bosch hopes for a closer game against New Zealand.

“It is important that we stay calm and focused and it will be wonderful if we get a big crowd in La Plata like last year.”

Title-holders New Zealand top the table with 18 points from four matches, South Africa have 14, Australia four and Argentina two.


Juan Martin Hernandez; Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Fernandez, Juan Imhoff; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (capt); Julio Farias Cabello, Patricio Albacete; Juan Figallo, Eusebio Guinazu, Marcos Ayerza

Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Lobo, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Mariano Galarza, Benjamin Macome, Tomas Cubelli, Felipe Contepomi, Horacio Agulla

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