Thursday, November 21, 2013

Argentina team named to face Italy

Julio Farías Cabello attended RWC 2007 as a supporter. In 2011 he was starting
Daniel Hourcade has just confirmed his lineup to face Italy in Rome on Saturday. It is to be the final test of what has been a very difficult year for Argentine rugby on and off the field. The lack of victories has been hard for everyone concerned and patience is very thin. Nothing less than a victory is needed to end the year. 

The team features the overdue selection of Horacio Agulla at outside centre and with the hard running winger being used as a mid-fielder Argentina is to have more pace outwide. The move allows Hourcade to field an attacking back-three of Juan Imhoff, Lucas González Amorosino and Joaquín Tuculet, three players to be more known for their attacking weapons rather than their defence. 

Imhoff and González Amorosino are two of changes to the team that started against Wales. Three other players will be starting that did not do so at the Millennium Stadium. With Patricio Albacete missing due to club duty Mariano Galarza will partner Manuel Carizza in the second-row. The back-row will feature one change with Hourcade having dropped 20 year old Pablo Matera to give a start to Tucumán´s Benjamín Macome who was one of the better performers for Argentina against England in the home test matches in June. Macome was not able to start at all in the Rugby Championship and is now likely to face veteran Italian Mauro Bergamasco.

The fifth change to the team sees Gabriel Ascárate being named in place of Santiago Fernández who, like Albacete, Leonardo Senatore and Marcelo Bosch, will be playing club rugby this weekend. Ascárate is to join Agulla in the mid-field and form an all-Tucumán 10-12 combination with Nicolás Sánchez. With the preperation having been dominated by wet conditions it is likely that the boot of Sánchez will be called upon throughout the afternoon in Rome. 

The test is to be the final time that Julio Farías Cabello plays for Argentina. The 35 year old is to retire with 20 test caps after having debuted at the age of 32. He is fifteen years older than Matera who is on the bench while Matera is one of a number of players to have played at the junior level for Argentina this year. Indeed all of Matías Díaz, Tomás Lavanini, Santiago Iglesias Valdez and Santiago Cordero joined Matera in playing at the IRB Junior World Championship earlier this year in France. 

The match will be the nineteenth test between Italy and Argentina. The previous matches are in favor of the South Americans whom have won twelve matches compared to Italy which has five wins. The teams have competed to a draw on one occassion. Italy enters the game having defeated Fiji last weekend while Argentina is on an eight match losing streak and a loss would confirm this Pumas side as the worst of all time as never before has Argentina lost more than eight matches in a row. 


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)

16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez (Uni Tucumán)
17 Nahuel Lobo (Unattahced)
18 Matíaz Díaz (Highlanders, New Zealand)
19 Tomás Lavanini (Racing Métro, France)
20 Pablo Matera (Leicester, England)
21 Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano)
22 Javier Rojas (Tucumán Uni)
23 Santiago Cordero (Regatas)

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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