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Seven changes for Argentina as Cheika reacts to Hamilton hammering

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Michael Cheika has made seven changes to his Argentina side as they look to remain in The Rugby Championship title race with this Saturday’s home game in Buenos Aires versus the Springboks. The Pumas shook up the rugby world with their round three win over the All Blacks in Christchurch but they were well beaten the following week in the Hamilton rematch, losing 53-3.

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That defeat has now resulted in Argentina coach Cheika making three alterations to his back line, two to his front row and another two elsewhere in this pack for the visit of South Africa, a round five encounter that will be followed by the tournament-ending round six match on September 24 in Durban.

Jeronimo de la Fuenta has been chosen in the midfield for the benched Matias Moroni, Lucio Cinti takes over on the left wing from Santiago Cordero while Gonzalo Bertranou is at scrum-half in place of Tomas Cubelli, the second of the back line starters in Hamilton to drop to the replacements.

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Props Eduardo Bello and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro respectively take over from Joel Sclavi and Thomas Gallo, who both drop to the bench. Bello for Sclavi is a straight swap but the demotion of Gallo to the bench sees the previous No17 Mayco Vivas drop out.

Elsewhere in the pack, Juan Martin Gonzalez is at blindside instead of Santiago Grondona while Matias Alemanno is at lock in place of Guido Petti, who is held in reserve this weekend. A notable change on the bench is the inclusion of veteran hooker Agustin Creevy. He comes in for Santiago Socino after featuring for London Irish in last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership opening round win over Worcester.

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Argentina are currently fourth in the four-team tournament, but they are just five points behind the leaders New Zealand who have played a game more following their dramatic win on Thursday away to Australia.

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Argentina (vs South Africa, Saturday)
15. Juan Cruz Mallia; 14. Emiliano Boffelli, 13. Matias Orlando, 12. Jeronimo de la Fuenta; 11. Lucio Cinti; 10. Santiago Carreras, 9. Gonzalo Bertranou; 8. Pablo Matera, 7. Marcos Kremer, 6. Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 4. Matias Alemanno, 3. Eduardo Bello, 2. Julian Montoya (capt), 1. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Replacements: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Thomas Gallo, 18. Joel Sclavi, 19. Guido Petti, 20. Rodrigo Bruni, 21. Tomas Cubelli, 22. Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23. Matias Moroni.

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