Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Likely Pumas Changes for Ireland

Photo: UAR Santi Fernández set to be named at inside centre to face Ireland
Today´s training sessions in Dublin featured four changes from the starting XV that lost against France in Lille on Saturday. There were three changes in the backs and one in the forwards. None of the changes can be said to be injury enforced as though Argentina is missing the likes of Horacio Agulla, Patricio Albacete Felipe Contepomi and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga only Agulla started against France and he did so inplace of Gonzalo Camacho who was superior the prior weekend against the Welsh. Agulla was forced from the field in the secondhalf in Lille and is certain to be replaced by Camacho. Indeed, Camacho trained on the right wing in today´s training. He joined Juan Imhoff and Juan Martín Hernández in the back-three with El Mago all but assured of starting at fullback after being forced from the field against Wales. Should he not be match ready then Argentina´s starting fullback will be Joaquín Tuculet who played the majority of the match at the Millenium Stadium after coming on as a substitute following Felipe Contepomi´s serious knee injury in the 12th minute. The third change in the backs looks set to see a return to the Fernández-Bosch centres combination that Argentina fielded throughtout The Rugby Championship. Today they trained together as the centres with Santiago Fernández at inside centre and Marcelo Bosch moving to outside centre in place of Gonzalo Tiesi.

The forwards had a mixed performance against France with Los Pumas doing very well in the early stages only for France to fight back brilliantly and take control of the match. The only forward who will not be starting is Juan Figallo who was released by Argentine Headcoach Santiago Phelan.  He may not have made the Pumas team regardless after he was sighted for his actions against French captain Pascal Papé in the first half. In place of Figallo was the uncapped Maximilano Bustos who is Figallo´s clubmate at Montpellier. Bustos joined Eusebio Guiñazú and Marcos Ayerza in the frontrow. They are set to be supported by Agustín Creevy, Francisco Gómez Kodela and Nahuel Lobo from the bench. Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe will lead the side and trained again on the side of the scrum in conjunction with Juan Manuel Leguizamón with Leonardo Senatore playing number 8. Manuel Carizza and Julio Farías Cabello are also set to be retained as the starting secondrow combination with the only question being who will provde the back-up from the bench. 

The official starting lineup will be revealed by Phelan on Wednesday. 

Starting Lineup in Today´s Training
Marcos Ayerza, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 3 Maximilano Bustos
(Leicester Tigers, ENG), (Southern Kings, RSA) (Montpellier, FRA)
Manuel Carizza, 5 Julio Farías Cabello
(Racing Métro, FRA), (Los Pampas XV, ARG)
Juan M F Lobbe, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan M Leguizamón
(Toulon, FRA), (Los Pampas XV, ARG), (Lyon OU, FRA)

Martín Landajo, 10 Nicolás Sánchez
(Los Pampas XV, ARG), (Bordeaux-Begles, FRA)
12 Santiago Fernández, 13 Marcelo Bosch
(Montpellier, FRA), (Biarritz, FRA)
11 Juan Imhoff, 15 Juan M Hernández, 14 Gonzalo Camacho
(Racing Métro, FRA), (Racing Métro, FRA), (Exeter Chiefs, ENG)

* Changes from Lille in red.


  1. Do you agree with replacing Tiesi with Fernandez?

    Centre is certainly an issue for the Pumas, as I personally think Bosch is a 12 not a 13, and I'm not sure playing basically two fly halves in the centres works.

    Tiesi did his job and completely shut down Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams in Cardiff with some good defence, but there are question marks over his attacking ability.

    I maintain that Phelan's failure to try anything new at 13 this year is a mistake. The matches with Georgia next year is a perfect time to do it though, and hopefully Phelan does do it next year.

    Argentina have more depth than they ever have had at wing currently. Montero (and others like Moyano, Miralles etc) may not get into the first choice side at wing for quite some time with Imhoff and Camacho there. So one of them really should be trained to play #13 during the Pampas XV campaign. Annother option, is Lisandro Gomez Lopez, who is unfortunately not getting a look in at Stade.

    For this particular match though, would you have dropped Tiesi?

    1. Agulla may well have been the starting 13 had he not got hurt in Lille. That being the case then Fernández would not be featuring at all in the November tests. There were people critical of Tiesi against Les Bleus, saying he missed tackles leading up to both of Clerc´s tries. Personally, I felt that both were more to do with Clerc not being marked correctly by his opposite.

      I would keep Tiesi at 13 for this test and like to see Santiago Cordero on the bench.