Reporting from Tokyo: Outspoken Pumas captain Augustin Creevy has been left on the bench following his pot-stirring comments about ‘boring’ England and the teams going to ‘war’.
Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has named his team for the Pool C match against England at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday, with just one change from the side that bested Tonga last time out – No.8 Javier Ortega Desio replaces Tomas Lezana.
If the former captain comes onto the field on Saturday, he will break Argentina’s record for most caps. He is currently tied on 87 with Felipe Contepomi.
Speaking earlier this week on the possibility of being benched, Creevy was pretty resigned to the idea: “I just have to accept it. Everyone likes to start, but when it’s your turn to step down, you need to know your place.
“The initial frustration wears off fairly quickly and instead, you should consider how best to serve and help the team. I really mean it. If the coaches think it’s the best option, you have to respect and not fight it. You need to show your class.
“It’s been on my mind for a while now. Whatever comes, I will enjoy it, be it in the starting line-up or on the bench.
“The most important thing now are the Pumas, not my (Argentina record) 88 caps. We need to win and qualify. The Pumas are above everything and everyone else, including the players, coaches and managers.”
He refused to discuss the last time he was benched at the 2015 tournament.
“I prefer not to discuss it. I don’t ask for explanations. If something I do needs checking, he (Argentina coach, Mario Ledesma) will let me know. I don’t ask when I am named nor when I am not.”
Ortega Desio returns to the team having played in the opening match against France. Montoya, Urdapilleta and Carreras retain their places having come in for Creevy, Sanchez and Moyano for the game against Tonga.
— Los Pumas (@lospumas) October 3, 2019
Lucas Mensa, whose only cap for Argentina came at inside-centre, will provide fly-half cover from the bench.
Only six players who started the 21-8 defeat by England in 17 November, the last match between the two nations, make the starting XV this time, including back-row forwards Pablo Matera and Marcos Kremer.
1. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
2. Julian Montoya
3. Juan Figallo
4. Guido Petti Pagadizabal
5. Tomas Lavanini
6. Pablo Matera (capt.)
7. Marcos Kremer
8. Javier Ortega Desio
9. Tomas Cubelli
10. Benjamin Urdapilleta
11. Santiago Carreras
12. Jeronimo de la Fuente
13. Matias Orlando
14. Matías Moroni
15. Emiliano Boffelli
16. Agustín Creevy
17. Mayco Vivas
18. Santiago Medrano
19. Matias Alemanno
20. Tomas Lezana
21. Felipe Ezcurra
22. Lucas Mensa
23. Bautista Delguy
Anthony Watson looks ahead to Argentina on Saturday and discusses the competition for places on the wing.
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