Thursday, November 14, 2013

Argentina Change Four for Wales

Photo Rugby 365: Horacio Agulla will earn his 50th cap on Saturday
Daniel Hourcade has confirmed his team to take on Wales at the Millennium Stadium this weekend. The former Jaguares and Pampas XV headcoach will field the same fifteen players who trained in the starting formation together on Monday.

The team features four changes from the side that faced England on Saturday. Two of the changes come in the back-three with only Horacio Agulla retaining his place in the starting lineup. The 29 year old will play on the right wing and earn his 50th cap. First capped against Samoa in 2005 Agulla has been in the Pumas squad permanently since the November 2006 tour of Europe in which e was a replacement in the win against England and he started in the win against Italy. He was the starting left winger in both Rugby World Cup 2007 and 2011 and despite having a low retrun rate of tries per tests at international level he has remained in the team since beginning his professional career with Dax after his debut World Cup.

Agulla will be the third most capped player in the team with only Patricio Albacete and captain Juan Manuel Leguizamón having played more times for Argentina. Joining Agulla in the back-three will be 19 year old Santiago Cordero who will earn his first test start and will do so against British and Irish Lions winger George North. The fullback position sees Lucas González Amorosino dropped with Joaquín Tuculet being given a chance of starting in his natural position. 

Tuculet will face Leigh Halfpenny who many tip for IRB Player of the Year. But the selection of note in the Welsh side is the selection of North on the wing. With Jonathan Davies and Jamie Roberts both missing Wales will lack large mid-fielders whom have been paramount to the success of the Warren Gatland coached Wales since 2008. North can be expected to come off his wing throughout the match to act as a mid-field ball carrier to compensate for the smaller Scott Williams and Cory Allen who will face Santiago Fernández and Marcelo Bosch in the centres. 

Argentina´s starting fly half is again to be Nicolás Sánchez but the scrum-half position sees a change with Martín Landajo returning in place of Tomás Cubelli. It will be a notable match for followers of the Top 14 and, especially Bayonne due to Mike Phillips having been fired by the club recently and Landajo having been linked to a move to replace Phillips at the club. It is, thus, to be the same halves combination that started against Wales last year at the same ground. But the remaining backs are all changed. 

The starting forward pack features one change from that which took the field at Twickenham. Returning in the second-row is Manuel Carizza who was surprizingly left out of the run-on XV against England. He will replace Mariano Galarza who has returned to the Worcester Warriors this weekend but is expected to be back with the squad for the match in Rome the following weekend. Joining Carizza will be Albacete while the front-row will see Maxi Bustos again joining Eusebio Guiñazú and Marcos Ayerza. The back-row will see a 20 year old and a 35 year old on either flank as Pablo Matera and Julio Farías Cabello play on the side of the scrum. At the back will be the captain, Leguizamón.

Alterations the reserve forwards see Matías Díaz replace Juan Pablo Orlandi as the replacement tighthead prop and Leonardo Senatore will be the replacement back-rower in place of Benjamín Macome. All three reserve backs are different to that of last weekend as both Cubelli and González Amorosino will be reserves while the Scotland based Gabriel Ascárate will have a chance to come on as a centre.

1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 3 Maximilano Bustos
(Leicester, England), (Bath, England), (Montpellier, France)
4 Manuel Carizza, 5 Patricio Albacete
(Stormers, South Africa), (Toulouse, France)
6 Pablo Matera, 8 Juan Leguizamón, 7 Julio Farías 
(Leicester, England), (Lyon, France), (Tucumán RC)

9 Martín Landajo, 10 Nicolás Sánchez
(C.A.S.I), (Bordeaux-Begles, France)
12 Santiago Fernández, 13 Marcelo Bosch
(Bayonne, France), (Saracens, England)
11 Santiago Cordero, 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla
(Regatas), (Bordeaux-Begles, France), (Bath, England)

16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez (Uni. Tucumán)
17 Nahuel Lobo (Unattached)
18 Matías Díaz (Highlanders, New Zealand)
19 Tomás Lavanini (Racing Métro, France)
20 Leonardo Senatore (Worcester, England)
21 Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano Atheltic)
22 Gabriel Ascárate (Glasgow, Scotland)
23 Lucas González Amorosino (Oyonnax, France)


  1. OMG we are still playing with Landajo. This must be a joke, the guy sucks at it!!
    They should give Cubelli two matches in a row..

    1. agreed. Aguila is also not functioning and I would've of dropped him in favor of Amorosino!