Monday, September 2, 2013

Fernández set to start ahead of Contepomi against the All Blacks

Photo: UAR
Argentina´s Monday training in New Zealand ahead of Saturday´s round three match of the 2013 Rugby Championship gave a strong indication of how the team will be formed to take on the All Blacks. In comparison to the side that faced South Africa in Mendoza there were a total of four changes with the most notable being that of inside centre. Veteran Felipe Contepomi appears set to be dropped for the fixture with his place going to former Montpellier inside centre, Santiago Fernández. 

Fernández started at inside centre throughout the 2012 Rugby Championsihp and did so in a mid-field combination with Marcelo Bosch. They combination is set to come together again. Other changes saw Juan Martín Hernández, as expected, training at fullback. The Racing Métro star was unable to face the Springboks due to injury and will reclaim the position from Lucas González Amorosino. The backs were otherwise unchanged with Horacio Agulla being used ahead of Juan Imhoff on the left wing and Nicolás Sánchez now set to take over the goal kicking. 

Juan Figallo did not train on Monday but is all but certain to start the test. In his place Bath tight head prop Juan Pablo Orlandi joined Marcos Ayerza and Eusebio Guiñazú in the frontrow. There were, however, notable changes to the pack including the return of captain Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. Corcho is set to play his first test of the year and will join his long term Pumas back-row colleague Juan Manuel Leguizamón. They trained in the back-row today with Pablo Matera. The return of Corcho will help Argentina greatly but the team remains below full-strength as Patricio Albacete is in Argentina recovering from his hamstring injury. In place of Albacete Santiago Phelan is set to start Julio Farías Cabello while Carizza rather than Mariano Galarza will partner him in a changes second-row.

The training also featured replacements of note. Hernández spent some time training at flyhalf and Agulla did so at centre. Contepomi was also used at times as were Tomás Cubelli, Galarza, Nahuel Lobo and González Amorosino. The likely bench is therefore to bas as follows: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Benjamín Macome, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Felipe Contepomi, 23 Lucas González Amorosino.

Los Pumas in Training
1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 3 Juan Figallo
4 Manuel Carizza, 5 Julio Farías Cabello
6 Pablo Matera, 8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón

9 Martín Landajo, 10 Nicolás Sánchez
12 Santiago Fernández, 13 Marcelo Bosch
11 Horacio Agulla, 15 Juan Martín Hernández, 14 Gonzalo Camacho

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