Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wales are ready for Argentina

Wales are ready to take on Argentina in a home match this coming Saturday. It is to be the final international match for both countries before Rugby World Cup 2011. Wales have named a different side to the one that defeated England 19-9, also at the Millenium Stadium, last weekend. The changes appear to suggest how Wales intend to play as the side is less robust than that which faced England. Ryan Jones is to captain the side playing 8 and will be joined in the forwards by world-class tighthead prop, Adam Jones who will bolster the scrum. Martyn Williams is also to start in the forewards with the veteran backrower replacing captain Sam Warburton who has been rested while Bradley Jones will start in the secondrow alongside Alun Wyn-Jones. The changes appear to signal that Wales is looking to take on Los Pumas up front.

There are also changes in the backline, which will be more dangerous than that whcih faced England due to the return of fullback Lee Byrne and winger Leigh Halfpenny. Tavis Knoyle also gets a start, in place of  Mike Phillips while James Hook moved to his best position of flyhalf and George North moves wing do cater for the return of Halfpenny. Similarly, Jamie Roberts has been switched from outside to inside centre with Jonathan Davies to play in the 13 shirt. Argentina is yet to confirm its 22 man match day team for the encounter, having only arrived in Wales on Monday. The only certainties for the team are that Felipe Contepomi will captain the side from flyhalf and his deputy, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe will start in the backrow.

The match is to be the first in two years and only the second since Rugby World Cup 2007. The last time the two teams met was a Welsh victory with Wales winning 33-16 at the Millenium Stadium. The Welsh wizard, Shane Williams, was the difference between the two sides that day as he ran in two of the three Welsh tries. Argentina scored one to Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga who scored all of Argentina´s points on the day. Wales have retained eight of the starting XV from the match from 2009 while Argentina may field a similar number as nine of the starting XV from 2009 have been named in the squad for Rugby World Cup 2011.


15 Lee Byrne (Clermont, France) * 43 caps
14 Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues) * 19 caps
13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) * 13 caps
12 Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues) * 31 caps
11 George North (Scarlets) * 7 caps
10 James Hook (Perpignan, France) * 53 caps
9 Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets) * 4 caps
8 Ryan Jones captain (Ospreys) * 53 caps
7 Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues) * 98 caps
6 Dan Lydiate (Newport Gweent Dragons) * 13 caps
5 Alun Wyn-Jones (Ospreys) *51 caps
4 Bradley  Davies (Cardiff Blues) *23 caps
3 Adam Jones (Ospreys) * 69 caps
2 Richard Hibbard (Ospreys) * 14 caps
1 Paul JAMES (Ospreys) * 25 caps

16 Huw Bennett (Ospreys) *41 caps
17 Ryan Bevington (Ospreys) * 3 caps
18 Andy Powell (Sale Sharks, England) * 17 caps
19 Juston Tipuric (Ospreys)* uncapped
20 Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) * uncapped
21 Stephen Jones (Scarlets) *100 caps
22 Aled Brew (Newport Gwent Dragons * 6 caps

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