Pumas tweak formation for final Rugby Championship clash
Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma has resisted making substantial changes to his side for their final match of 2019’s Rugby Championship, despite two losses to date.
In the second row, Matias Alemanno and Marcos Kremer have been promoted ahead of regular locks Guido Petti and Tomas Lavanini. Petti will take a spot on the reserves. Despite being second-choice in their positions, Alemanno and Kremer have plenty of experience to call upon, with over 70 international caps between them.
The final change in the pack sees Javier Ortega Desio take over from Tomas Lezana on the openside flank. Ortega Desio started in the Pumas’ first match of the campaign, against the All Blacks, but was positioned at the back of the scrum for that narrow loss.
There’s only one adjustment in the backs, with Emiliano Boffelli returning in the fullback jersey. Last year’s incumbent, Joaquin Tuculet, spent much of this year sidelined with injury. Boffelli has taken his chances at the Jaguares in Tuculet’s absence and looks to be the first-choice 15 for the national side too.
Gonzalo Bertranou and Benjamin Urdapilleta will get their first chances of the year off the bench. Castres utility Urdapilleta has been named as cover for both the midfield and flyhalf positions while experienced halfback Bertranou gets the nod ahead of Felipe Ezcurra.
If Argentina are to have any hope of avoiding the wooden spoon for the seventh time in eight years, they will need to tip over South Africa in Salta. South Africa are also gunning for their first Rugby Championship title so aren’t expected to roll over against the improving Pumas. Regardless, Argentina’s fate will be taken out of their own hands if Australia score an upset win over New Zealand in the earlier match of the round.
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustin Creevy (c), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
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