|Manuel Montero earns a test start|
Los Pumas Headcoach, Santiago Phelan has made six changes to the side that defeated Italy 37-22 in San Juan on Saturday. In naming his team to face France in the first of two tests this coming Saturday, Phelan has made six changes to the team but has not recalled any of the 24 players who have already been named in the squad for The Rugby Championship. Instead he is sticking to the policy of blooding enw players and giving frnige players an opportunity to show their worth ahead of The Rugby Championship. The players have a huge motivation factor with six players in the squad for Argentina´s first ever official Tier One tournament on the line.
Just who will complete the squad of 30 players is far from being confirmed but the policy of trying to play a more attacking brand of rugby to score more points is highly visible going off the selection. 20 year old Manuel Montero was a star for Los Pumitas twelve months ago in the IRB Junior World Championship but now he will start for Argentina at test level vs Tier one opposition. he played vs Brazil, Chile and Uruguay in the South American Championship last month, scoring five tries. He will now form a new back three with Belisario Agulla on the right wing and Román Miralles at fullback. Miralles gets the call up in place of Joaquín Tuculet who has been moved to outside centre, a position in which Argentina have no specialists of note following the long term injury loss of Gonzalo Tiesi who is still recovering and not expected to return in time for The Rugby Championship. Tuculet replaces Gabriel Ascaráte who had a mixed performance vs Italy. The 9-10-12 combination remains the same with Martín Landajo starting after impressing in his first test vs Tier One opposition while Igancio Mieres will play flyhalf and have support from Felipe Contepomi who will captain the side from inside centre.
The forwards see a new frontrow altogether with Bruno Postiglioni starting at hooker in place of Eusebio Guiñazú who, curiously, moves to loosehead prop in place of Rodrigo Roncero who has requested rest time as he makes a final decision on whether or not to play in The Rugby Championship. The tighthead position will be taken by 22 year olf Stade Français prop, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro who replaces Francisco Gómez Kodela. Julio Farías Cabello has been moved from the secondrow to the backrow which sees Esteban Lozada return to join Benjamín Macome in a new combination. Farías Cabello will be joined by by the exciting 21 year old, Tomás de la Vega, who was a replacement vs Italy, and Tomás Leonardí who laid a major claim for a place in The Rugby Championship with a strong showing against Mauro Bergamasco.
It is to be the first of two home tests against Les Bleus with Tucumán hosting on the following Saturday. The match is officially a friendly match but there is a trophy on the line, known as the Copa Personal for sponsorship reasons.
1 Eusebio Guiñazú (Biarritz, France)
2 Bruno Postiglioni (Los Pampas XV)
3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Stade Français, France)
4 Benjamín Macome (Los Pampas XV)
5 Esteban Lozada (Agen, France)
6 Julio Farías Cabello (Los Pampas XV)
7 Tomás De la Vega (Los Pampas XV)
8 Tomás Leonardi (Los Pampas XV)
9 Martín Landajo (Los Pampas XV)
10 Ignacio Mieres (Exeter Chiefs, England)
11 Manuel Montero (Los Pampas XV)
12 Felipe Contepomi (Stade Français, France)
13 Joaquín Tuculet (Grenoble, France)
14 Belisario Agulla (Agen, France)
15 Román Miralles (Los Pampas XV)
Reserves: 16 Andrés Bordoy (Pau, France), 17 Pablo Henn (Brive, France), 18 Rodrigo Bruno (Los Pampas XV), 19 Rodrigo Báez (Los Pampas XV), 20 Tomás Cubelli (Los Pampas XV), 21 Benjamín Urdapilleta (Oyonnax, France), 22 Facundo Barrea (Los Pampas XV)