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Cheika makes 3 changes as Argentina ready for Samoa challenge

Matias Moroni ready to play against Samoa

Los Pumas head coach Michael Cheika has named their team to face Samoa in Pool D’s intriguing clash at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne on Friday, 22 September.

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Experienced back Matías Moroni is one of just three changes to the starting XV despite the disappointing 27-10 loss against England in the opening round of the tournament.

In the forwards, Eduardo Bello comes into the front-row while Guido Petti into the second-row.

Moroni comes into the midfield, earning just his third start of 2023, after playing four of his six Tests of the bench. He is the only player to have played in all six tests this year for Los Pumas, despite only two of these caps coming in the run-on team.

ARGENTINA TEAM TO FACE SAMOA ON FRIDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER

1 Thomas Gallo
2 Julian Montoya (c)
3 Eduardo Bello
4 Guido Petti Pagadizabal
5 Matias Alemanno
6 Pablo Matera
7 Marcos Kremer
8 Juan Martin Gonzalez
9 Gonzalo Bertranou
10 Santiago Carreras
11 Mateo Carreras
12 Santiago Chocobares
13 Matías Moroni
14 Emiliano Boffelli
15 Juan Cruz Mallia

Replacements:
16 Agustín Creevy
17 Mayco Vivas
18 Francisco Gómez Kodela
19 Pedro Rubiolo
20 Rodrigo Bruni
21 Tomas Cubelli
22 Nicolas Sanchez
23 Lucio Cinti

Fixture
Rugby World Cup
Argentina
19 - 10
Full-time
Samoa
All Stats and Data

If used off the bench, Agustín Creevy will move to second all-time in appearances alongside Felipe Contepomi and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe in his 17th Rugby World Cup match. Only Mario Ledesma Arocena has played more Rugby World Cup games for Los Pumas with 18 between 1999 and 2011.

Pablo Matera has started more tests for Argentina than any other player, earning 91 of his 96 caps in the starting XV. He generated much of Los Pumas’ attack against England, with five defenders beaten, and 44 metres past the gain-line from the joint-most carries (11).

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Nicolas Sanchez has played just 114 minutes of test rugby this season, and will earn his 99th test cap if used off the bench. He is Argentina’s most capped back-line player, and their all-time leading point-scorer (863).

Earlier, Samoa picked their team, also making just three changes, two up front and one out side, as big winger Ben Lam joins the team.

Related

The competition table as it stands before the next round of matches:

Rugby World Cup

Pool A
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
France
2
2
0
0
8
2
New Zealand
2
1
1
0
5
3
Italy
1
1
0
0
5
4
Uruguay
1
0
1
0
0
5
Namibia
2
0
2
0
0
Pool B
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Ireland
2
2
0
0
10
2
South Africa
2
2
0
0
9
3
Scotland
1
0
1
0
0
4
Tonga
1
0
1
0
0
5
Romania
2
0
2
0
0
Pool C
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Wales
2
2
0
0
10
2
Fiji
2
1
1
0
6
3
Australia
2
1
1
0
6
4
Georgia
1
0
1
0
0
5
Portugal
1
0
1
0
0
Pool D
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
England
2
2
0
0
9
2
Samoa
1
1
0
0
5
3
Japan
2
1
1
0
5
4
Argentina
1
0
1
0
0
5
Chile
2
0
2
0
0
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J
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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