In naming his sterating XV to play Stade Français on Friday Los Pumas Head Coach, Santiago Phelan has all but confirmed who will play against South Africa in Argentina´ debut appearance in The Rugby Championship. Phelan surprizingly selected Martín Landajo over both Agustín Figuerola and Tomás Cubelli but he also let Tomás De La Vega go. The team features changes to the one that lost 25-21 at Vélez Sarsfeld on Saturday. There are two changes to the starting lineup with Racing Métro´ Àlvaro Galindo starting in the backrow in place of Tomás Leonardí of Los Pampas XV. This means Galindo is now the probable man to fill the boots of Juan Leguizamón against the Springboks. Leguizamón will not feature as he is yet to recover from an injury picked up in training ten days ago.
The second change to the team sees Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga start at inside centre in place of Santiago Fernández. The change is a bid to have more attacking flair with Fernández more of a distributor than Rodríguez Gurruchaga who is a natural fullback that played the entire season for Stade Français at centre. His performance will confirm whether the Pumas 12 will be himself or Fernández. The outside centre will be Marcelo Bosch who starts again and has been a good performer for Argentina in the position since being called upon to replace Gonzalo Tiesi in 2011.
This means that the inform Horacio Agulla will stay on the wing. This does not, however mean that Agulla will be used like a winger. His form for Leicester saw him regularly used in the midfield and, indeed, he was playing this way again v Stade Français six days ago. Joining Agulla in the back-three are Lucas González Amorosino and Gonzalo Camacho with the pair all but guaranteed starters against South Africa. Camacho had an outstanding season with the Exeter Chiefs but his selection ahead of Juan Imhoff is, nonetheless, surprizing.
The match will be played at the Estadio de Colón de Santa Fe this Firday evening. Kick off is at 7pm. The stadium was used to host matches during the IRB Junior World Championship in 2010 and also hosted Argentina vs Ireland in 2007 with Felipe Contepomi landing a late dropgoal to secure victory.