Rugby Championship News

Hernandez starts at 10 for Pumas against Boks

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Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has named his team to play in the final round Rugby Championship match against South Africa at Kings Park stadium in Durban with Juan Martin Hernandez at flyhalf.

Hernandez being named at flyhalf is one of eleven changes to the starting team that was beaten by Australia two weeks ago.

The versatile back and survivor from the 2007 and 2011 World Cup campaigns gets his first start this season in Durban ahead of underachieving fly-half Nicolas Sanchez.

Leading 2014 Rugby Championship points scorer Sanchez ignored a ball-in-hand plan several times against the Wallabies and his aimless field kicks triggered two counter-attack tries.

Pumas skipper and hooker Agustin Creevy was blunt in his analysis: “There were moments when we had the ball and did not know what to do with it.

“We kicked, gave possession away, and conceded two tries. We have to improve collectively and individually against the Springboks.”

Many changes were on the cards as coach Daniel Hourcade left out nine of the starters against Australia when he named a 26-man squad for the final-round match in the South African Indian Ocean city.

Another two of those who began a Test lost 34-9 to the Wallabies — inside centre Juan Pablo Socino and scrum-half Martin Landajo — failed to retain their places.

Hourcade said before the southern hemisphere championship that he would rotate his squad, but 11 changes also suggests unhappiness with the whipping by the Wallabies.

Left winger Juan Imhoff is the only one of the seven backs who started in Mendoza two Saturdays ago to survive the purge.

Out go full-back Santiago Cordero, right winger Gonzalo Camacho, centres Matias Moroni and Socino, fly-half Sanchez and scrum-half Martin Landajo.

And in come Joaquin Tuculet, Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Jeronimo De la Fuente, Hernandez and Tomas Cubelli.

Loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza and Creevy remain in the front row and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro replaces injured tighthead Ramiro Herrera.

Guido Petti Pagadizabal takes over from Manuel Carizza and fellow lock Tomas Lavanini is the third forward to keep his slot after the Mendoza mauling.

A new back row of flankers Pablo Matera and Juan Manuel Leguizamon and No. 8 Leonardo Senatore succeeds Javier Ortega Desio, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Facundo Isa.

South Africa have triumphed 18 times and drawn once in 19 Tests against Argentina since 1993, scoring an average of 38 points per match and conceding 19.

Argentina

Joaquin Tuculet; Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Jeronimo De la Fuente, Juan Imhoff; Juan Martin Hernandez, Tomas Cubelli; Leonardo Senatore, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera; Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti Pagadizabal; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (capt), Marcos Ayerza

Replacements: Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Matias Diaz, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Martin Landajo, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

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