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Pumas make sweeping changes for second Test against South Africa

By Sam Smith
Eben Etzebeth of South Africa clashes with Matias Moroni and Tomas Lavanini of Argentina during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final match between South Africa and Argentina (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

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Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma has revealed his team for Saturday’s second Test against the Springboks in the Rugby Championship at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.


The Springboks won the opening encounter by 32-12, which was the Pumas’ first defeat this year after they had beaten Wales and Romania last month, and drawn one of their Tests against the Dragons.

Ledesma has decided to rotate his squad and only the midfield pairing, front row and two of the three loose forwards are in their same positions as last Saturday, while there are two positional switches.

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Handre Pollard speaks about criticism of the Springboks’ playing style
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Handre Pollard speaks about criticism of the Springboks’ playing style

Apart from the two midfielders, Santiago Chocobares and Jeronimo de la Fuente, the entire backline is different from last weekend, with Santiago Carreras moving from fullback to left wing, while Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni (injured), Nicolas Sanchez and Felipe Ezcurra drop out of the starting team.

They are replaced by Juan Cruz Mallía at fullback, the uncapped Ignacio Mendy at right wing, Domingo Miotti at flyhalf, and Gonzalo Bertranou at scrumhalf. Sanchez and Ezcurra are on the bench this week.

Upfront, Facundo Isa (flanker) drops out of the matchday squad while Marcos Kremer moves to the bench. Guido Petti moves from lock to flank, with Tomas Lavanini and Matias Alemanno named to start in the engine room.

Last week’s front row of Francisco Gomez Kodela, Pumas captain Julian Montoya and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, as well as Rodrigo Bruni (No.8) and Pablo Matera (flank), retain their places in the starting team.


Apart from Mendy, one other uncapped player has been included on the bench in outside back Lucio Cinti.

Both these speedsters were part of the Argentinean Sevens team at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, where they beat the BlitzBoks in the quarterfinals and ended up winning the bronze medal.

ARGENTINA: 15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Ignacio Mendy, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Guido Petti, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Lucio Cinti.



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