Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Argentina Set for Another Mountain of Changes

Photo Rodrigo Vergara: Daniel Hourcade Directs Traffic in Training
Los Pumas headcoach Daniel Hourcade appears set to alter the pieces for the last test match of the year. The team´s training on Tuesday in the Italian capital of Rome features a host of changes from the team that was badly outplayed by Wales on Saturday as the team is set to try to win for the second time this year without ten front-line players.

Hourcade´s starting front-row of Marcos Ayerza, Eusebio Guiñazú and Maximilano Bustos is unique in that it is set to start together for a third consecutive test match. The side is, otherwise, set to be altered with changes appearing certain in the second-row, back-row, centres and back-three from that which started against Wales. Three changes were inevitable due to Patricio Albacete, Santiago Fernández and Marcelo Bosch all returning to club duty in England and France. Also returning was Leonardo Senatore who was a replacement in Cardiff.

In place of Albacete Manuel Carizza is set to be joined by Mariano Galarza who missed out on facing the Welsh due to his involvement with the Worcester Warriors in the LV=, or Anglo-Welsh Cup. Galarza started against England but was released against Wales so that Hourcade could have access to Galarza´s clubmate, Senatore. With Senatore now missing there will be a different replacement back-rower but it appears not be Benjamín Macome due to him joining Juan Leguizamón and Julio Farías Cabello in training today. Pablo Matera is therefore set to be dropped to the bench.

The halves combination was unchanges with Martín Landajo and Nicolás Sánchez looking set to start together again with Tomás Cubelli not having been able to reclaim the nine shirt he wore against England. Outside Sánchez Hourcade is to replace Fernández and Bosch with Gabriel Ascárate and Horacio Agulla. It will be their first time playing together as a mid-field combination and continues with the constant mid-field changes throughout the year. Ascárate´s selection is not due to a lack of alternatives as his form for Los Pampas XV and Glasgow has been sound. Agulla´s move from wing to centre, on the other hand, is about accommodating him due to Argentina missing Bosch and Gonzalo Tiesi while having no shortage of options at wing and fullback.

Agulla´s wing position will see Juan Imhoff returning from injury for the fixture while Lucas González Amorosino is on track to replace the 19 year old Santiago Cordero who will likely be on the bench. The starting Fullback looks set to be Joaquín Tuculet who has recovered well after having been replaced at halftime in Cardiff. Argentina´s reserves to face Italy appear to therefore also be different in comparison to the bench from the Millennium Stadium. 

Overall it is to be an exttreemely young set of reserves with all forwards having been at the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship. Santiago Iglesias Valdez will again be the replacement hooker with Nahuel Lobo and Matías Díaz covering prop while Tomás Lavanini and Pablo Matera are set to be the other forward replacements. Tomás Cubelli, Javier Rojas and Santiago Cordero appear to be the backs set to be selected as reserves. 

Argentina Team in Training
1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 3 Maximilano Bustos
(Leicester, England), (Bath, England), (Montpellier, France)
4 Manuel Carizza, 5 Mariano Galarza
(Stormers, South Africa), (Worcester, England)
6 Julio Farías, 8 Juan Leguizamón, 7 Benjamín Macome
(Tucumán), (Lyon, France), (Tucumán)

9 Martín Landajo, 10 Nicolás Sánchez
(C.A.S.I), (Bordeaux, France)
12 Gabriel Ascárate, 13 Horacio Agulla
(Glasgow, Scotland), (Bath, England)
11 Juan Imhoff, 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Lucas G Amorosino
(Racing Métro, France), (Bordeaux, France), (Oyonnax, France)

Unavailable through injury or club involvement
Patricio Albacete (Toulouse, France)
Marcelo Bosch (Saracens, England)
Gonzalo Camacho (Leicester, England)
Agustín Creevy (Worcester, England)
Santiago Fernández (Bayonne, France)
Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Toulon, France)
Juan Figallo (Montpellier, France)
Juan Martín Hernández (Racing Métro, France)
Leonardo Senatore (Worcester, England)
Gonzalo Tiesi (Newcastle, England)

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