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Argentina release eight players for South Africa

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Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has dropped eight players from his squad to play South Africa after his team were heavily beaten by Australia.

Argentina loss to Australia put the Pumas firmly at the bottom of the Rugby Championship standings and also allowed Australia to move into the top spot.

Coach Hourcade has dropped full-back Santiago Cordero, right wing Gonzalo Camacho, outside centre Matias Moroni and fly-half Nicolas Sanchez amongst others.

The axed forwards are lock Manuel Carizza and loose trio Javier Ortega Desio, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and No. 8 Facundo Isa while a ninth change is injury induced.

Tighthead prop Ramiro Herrera was hurt during the 34-9 loss to the Wallabies in Mendoza nine days ago and knee surgery will sideline him for four to six weeks.

Backline survivors from the Mendoza mauling are inside centre Juan Pablo Socino, left wing Juan Imhoff and scrum-half Martin Landajo.

Hooker and skipper Agustin Creevy, loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza and lock Tomas Lavanini remain among the eight who started against Australia.

“The objectives for the match with South Africa are the same as for those against New Zealand and Australia,” explained Hourcade.

“We hope to gradually improve our game, develop greater rhythm, and assess players ahead of the World Cup.

“South Africa are a great team who could have won both matches they lost,” he said, referring to narrow Springbok defeats away to Australia and at home to New Zealand.

While Hourcade said before the Rugby Championship that he would rotate players ahead of the September 18-October 31 World Cup in England, some changes may be form-related.

Sanchez, leading points scorer last season with 52 in the Rugby Championship, has given two poor performances.

Against Australia, the 26-year-old playmaker twice ignored a ball-in-hand plan to aimlessly boot kicks up field that triggered try-scoring counter-attacks.

Veteran utility back Juan Martin Hernandez has been called up for the first time in this Championship and will be a contender to replace Sanchez.

Fit-again Joaquin Tuculet is a natural choice to replace Cordero, having worn the No. 15 shirt in a 39-18 opening-round defeat in New Zealand.

Experienced centre Marcelo Bosch is another candidate to start against the Springboks at Kings Park stadium having faced the All Blacks, but not the Wallabies.

Loose forward Juan Manuel Leguizamon also boasts great Test experience and is likely to be included in a new back row.

South Africa have won 18 Tests against Argentina and drawn the other since they first met in 1993, scoring 728 points and conceding 361.

The widest victory margin was 73-13 in Soweto two years ago and the narrowest 33-31 in Salta last season.

Argentina

Forwards (15): Matias Allemanco, Marcos Ayerza, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (capt), Matias Diaz, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Tomas Lezana, Benjamin Macome, Pablo Matera, Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Leonardo Senatore,

Backs (11): Horacio Agulla, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Marcelo Bosch, Tomas Cubelli, Jeronimo De la Fuente, Juan Martin Hernandez, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Juan Imhoff, Martin Landajo, Juan Pablo Socino, Joaquin Tuculet

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