Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wales vs Argentina - Los Pumas lineup released


The head coach of Los Pumas, Santiago Phelan, has confirmed his team to take on Wales at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday in what is to be Argentina´s final international match before taking on England in Dunedin to kick-off their Rugby World Cup campaign. The lineup he has chosen is different to that whcih has been used in Argentina´s recent test series in 2009 and 2010. In the frontrow he has gone for the familiar duo of Rodrigo Roncero and Mario Ledesma but has given the young Juan Figallo a start at tighthead prop in place of Martín Scelzo who has been named on the bench. There are no surprizes in the secondrow with the first choice pair of Patricio Albacete and Manuel Carizza to lock the scrum. The same cannot be said of the backrow, or at least for the number 6 position which sees Julio Farías Cabello starting ahead of Alejandro Campos and Alvaro Galindo. Campos takes his place on the bench whcih is to be a traditional arrangement of four forwards and three backs.

Captain Felipe Contepomi has been selected at flyhalf, as predicted following the loss of Juan Martín Hernández to injury. Contepomi will play outside Nicolás Vergallo of Toulouse who gets the nod ahead of Alfredo Lalanne. The centre combination is a new one, having only played together once before at international level. Both had strong seasons in France for their respective clubs (Montpellier and Biarritz) and should offer Argentina increased options with ball in hand. The back-three combination has not played much rugby together but is the combination that is likely to face England in Dunedin. The reliable Martín Rodroguez Gurruchaga starts at fullback with Horacio Agulla playing right wing and the speedy Gonzalo Camacho playing on the left wing. The exciting Juan Imhoff has been named as cover on the bench and should be play he would make his test debut. the France bound flyhalf, Nicolás Sánchez is also on the bench as cover for flyhalf with Contepomi likely to cover the centres if need be.

The teams have met 14 times throughout history with Wales winning eight matches, Argentina five and there was one drawn match. The most recent game took place at the same venue as Satuirday´s match, with the Europeans winning 33-16. This time around, Los Pumas should be more competitive as the side has had more time to perpare together and has fourteen top-level professional players in the starting XV, compared to the 2009 fixture.

Argentina

1 Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Français), France)
2 Mario Ledesma (Clermont, France)
3 Juan Figallo (Montpellier, France)
4 Manuel Carizza (Biarritz, France)
5 Patricio Albacete (Toulouse, France)
6 Julio Farías Cabello (Tucumán)
7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón (Lyon, France)
8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Toulon, France)
9 Nicolás Vergallo (Toulouse, France)
10 Felipe Contepomi captain (Stade Français, France)
11 Gonzalo Camacho (Exeter Chiefs, England)
12 Santiago Fernández (Montpellier, France)
13 Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz, France)
14 Horacio Agulla (Leicester Tigers, England)
15 Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga (Stade Français, France)

Reserves:

16 Agustín Creevy (Montpellier, France)
17 Martín Scelzo (Agen, France)
18 Mariano Galarza (Los Pampas XV)
19 Alejandro Campos (Agen, France)
20 Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England)
21 Nicolás Sánchez (Bordeaux-Begles, France)
22 Juan Imhoff (Duendes)

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