Friday, August 5, 2011

Argentina team to face CONSUR XV in San Juan

Argentina have named a 30 man lineup for Saturday´s historical match between Los Pumas and The CONSUR XV (South American Invitational XV) in the Western Argentine city of San Juan. The match is to kick-off at  3:30pm local time and will be broadcast live in South American countries on ESPN+. The large number of players is possibly a sign that Argentina are intending on using the match to play two halves of 40 minutes and thus replacing every player on the park. The match is to be Argentina´s final game at home before Rugby World Cup 2011. Los Pumas will face Wales and Aviva Premiership club, Worcester in the U.K latter this month.

Coach Santiago Phelan has named a new look frontrow with Marcos Ayerza starting at loosehead prop ahead of Rodrigo Roncero and Juan Figallo starting at tighthead prop ahead of Martín Scelzo. Los Pumas eternal hooker, Mario Ledesma retains his place in the starting lineup. Roncero has been left out of the squad altogether as has Ledesma´s regular replacement, Agustín Creevy. Four frontrowers have been included on the bench, however, with Andrés Bordoy and Eusebio Guiñazu covering both hooker and prop and Martín Scelzo and Maximilano Bustos there as specialist props. Mariano Galarza has been named to join Patricio Albacete in the secondrow to give Argentina plenty of height in the lineouts. Both players could certainly be replaced as Tomás Vallejos and Santiago Guzman have both been named on the bench. Manuel Carizza was not considered due to injury. The backrow will be lead by Pumas vice-captain, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe who will play on the back of the scrum and be joined by Genaro Fessia at 6 and Alejandro Campos will be the fetcher, wearing the 7 shirt. Two players have been named in the reserves for the backrow positions with Leonardo Senatore and Julio Farías of Los Pampas XV getting the nod. The selection of Farías as a backrower is interesting as he had been playing in both the secondrow and on the side of the scrum. The French based backrow duo of  Alvaro Galindo and Juan Manuel Leguizamón have both been rested due to injury.

The team will be lead by Felipe Contepomi who will play flyhalf outside Toulouse scrumhalf, Nicolás Vergallo. The combination has had its high and low moments in recent years with the team combining well vs France in Buenos Aires in 2010 but struggling on the European tour in November of the same year. It underlins Phelan´s preference of using Contepomi as backup to Juan Martín Hernández rather than playing Contepomi at inside centre and using a younger player such as Santiago Fernández, Marcelo Bosch or Nicolás Sánchez as pivot. Sánchez has been named amongst the reserves as has Alfredo Lalanne as cover for the scrumhalf position. The centre combination is to be Santiago Fernández at 12 and Marcelo Bosch at 13 with regular outside centre, Gonzalo Tiesi, left out of the Pumas squad of 30 altogether due to a shoulder injury. Los Pampas XV centres, Gabriel Azcárate and Agustín Gosio have been named on the bench. The Los Pumas back-three is also experimental with Los Pampas XV winger and the highest points scorer of the Vodacom Cup, Juan Imhoff getting his chance to shine as he starts on the right wing. He will be joined by Lucas González Amorosino at fullback and the experienced Horacio Agulla is to start on the left wing. Agulla´s partner on the wing at France 2007, Lucas Borges has been named on the bench as has Bordeaux winger Rafael Carballo and Stade Français fullback, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga.


1 Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers, England)
2 Mario Ledesma (Clermont, France)
3 Juan Figallo (Montpellier, France)
4 Mariano Galarza (Biarritz, France)
5 Patricio Albacete (Toulouse, France)
6 Genaro Fessia (Córdoba Athletic)
7 Alejandro Campos (Agen, France)
8 Juan Fernández Lobbe (Toulon, France)
9 Nicolás Vergallo (Toulouse, France)
10 Felipe Contepomi (Stade Français, France)
11 Horacio Agulla (Leicester Tigers, England)
12 Santiago Fernández (Montpellier, France)
13 Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz, France)
14 Juan Imhoff (Duendes)
15 Lucas González Amorosino (Montpellier, France)

16 Andrés Bordoy (Pau, France)
17 Eusebio Guiñazu (Biarritz, France)
18 Martín Scelzo (Agen, France)
19 Maximilano Bustos (Montpellier, France)
20 Tomás Vallejos (Harlequins, England)
21 Santiago Guzman (Tucumán)
22 Leonardo Senatore (GER Rosario)
23 Julio Farías (Tucumán)
24 Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England)
25 Nicolás Sánchez (Bordeaux-Begles, France)
26 Lucas Borges (Pucurá)
27 Gabriel Ascárate (Natácion)
28 Agustín Gosio (Newman)
29 Rafael Carballo (Bordeaux-Begles, France)
30 Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga (Stade Français, France)

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