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Argentina forced into late change as skipper Montoya is ruled out

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The best-laid Argentina plan to start the same XV against Wales that defeated England last Sunday at Twickenham came unstuck at Friday training when skipper Julian Montoya was ruled out through injury. His place in the starting team has gone to Agustin Creevy, who wasn’t included in the original matchday 23, and the captaincy will now be taken on by Pablo Matera.

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Montoya had appeared in a live TV interview shortly after the win at Twickenham holding ice bags to treat a rib injury, but hopes that the issue would come right to enable him to lead Argentina at the Principality Stadium were dashed the day before the second game of their Autumn Nations Series programme.

A post on Twitter read: “After morning training, it was decided that Julian Montoya would not be part of the match against Wales as he persisted in pain after the left rib injury suffered against England. In his place, Agustin Creevy will enter and the captain will be Pablo Matera.”

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Originally naming the same starting team and the same replacements bench was a gutsy call from Michael Cheika. Argentina were in an 80-minute arm-wrestle with England that went right to the wire before the 30-29 victory was confirmed and, unlike Wales, they have had a day’s less preparation leading into this latest game in Cardiff as it was last Saturday when Wayne Pivac’s Welsh team hosted the All Blacks.

The Argentina team that Cheika selected to beat England had shown three changes from the previous outing versus South Africa on September 24, with Newcastle wing Mateo Carreras and props Thomas Gallo and Francisco Gomez-Kodel making the step up.

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