Cheika makes four changes to Argentina team for All Blacks rematch
Argentina coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to his line-up for Saturday’s Rugby Championship rematch with the All Blacks in Hamilton. The Pumas created history last weekend in Christchurch, securing a 25-18 victory that was their first in New Zealand against the hosts.
Lock Guido Petti, back-rower Santiago Grondona, half-back Tomas Cubelli and winger Santiago Cordero all are promoted from the bench to the starting 15. Cheika said beating New Zealand at home twice in a row would be a huge task.
“We know it’s difficult,” he Cheika. “There is a little bit (of hope) there because Ireland were able to do it a couple of times this year, so that gives us some hope around how to look at doing it.
“We have tried to prepare and know that when it’s difficult we enjoy it. When the challenge is big or the situation in a game is tough, we thrive in that moment.”
Whereas Argentina has shaken up their winning XV, the beaten All Blacks have named an unchanged run-on side, but fly-half Beauden Barrett and lock Brodie Retallick have been brought onto the bench to provide cover as they make their return from injury.
The pair add 201 Test caps of experience between them, while Barrett is the most capped All Black against Argentina with 16 appearances. Additional changes have been made to the reserves where hooker Dane Coles and loose forward Dalton Papali’i have been introduced following a start to the Championship that has seen New Zealand lost two of its opening three matches.
ARGENTINA: Juan Cruz Mallia, Emiliano Boffelli, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Santiago Cordero, Santiago Carreras, Tomas Cubelli, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Santiago Grondona, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Joel Sclavi, Julian Montoya (capt), Thomas Gallo. Replacements: Santiago Socino, Mayco Vivas, Eduardo Bello, Matias Alemanno, Ju an Martin Gonzalez, Gonzalo Bertranou, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Lucio Cinto.
NEW ZEALAND: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Tyrel Lomax, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ethan de Groot. Replacements: Dane Coles, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Brodie Retallick, Dalton Papali’i, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Quinn Tupaea.
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