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Carreras returns as Argentina name team for decider with Japan

SAINT-ETIENNE, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 22: Argentina form a huddle during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Argentina and Samoa at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on September 22, 2023 in Saint-Etienne, France. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika has named his matchday 23 to face Japan in Nantes on Sunday, with Santiago Carreras returning at fly-half in place of Nicolas Sanchez.

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Argentina need to beat Japan in order to secure their place in the quarter finals.

PERMUTATIONS:

A draw could be enough to secure second place for Japan or Argentina, depending on whether one or both secure a try-bonus point and Samoa’s result against England.

If both get try-scoring bonus points in a draw, Argentina will finish second on points difference (+46 to +18).

If the match ends in a draw, Japan must be the only team to get a try-scoring bonus point to finish second.

If neither get a bonus point in the draw, Samoa must beat England by 29 points and get a try-bonus point to have the best points difference of the three teams to finish second (+47).

Argentina would then finish third on points difference from Japan to qualify for RWC 2027.

ARGENTINA TEAM TO PLAY JAPAN IN NANTES

1 Thomas Gallo
2 Julian Montoya (c)
3 Francisco Gómez Kodela
4 Guido Petti Pagadizabal
5 Tomas Lavanini
6 Pablo Matera
7 Marcos Kremer
8 Juan Martin Gonzalez
9 Gonzalo Bertranou
10 Santiago Carreras
11 Mateo Carreras
12 Santiago Chocobares
13 Lucio Cinti
14 Emiliano Boffelli
15 Juan Cruz Mallia

Replacements:
16 Agustín Creevy
17 Joel Sclavi
18 Eduardo Bello
19 Matias Alemanno
20 Pedro Rubiolo
21 Lautaro Bazan Velez
22 Nicolas Sanchez
23 Matías Moroni

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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