Thursday, May 29, 2014

International Rugby: Pumas named to face South American XV

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Los Pumas Headcoach Daniel Hourcade has confirmed his starting XV for Saturday's non-capped international friendly against a South American Invitational XV in Santa Fé. His selection is consistent with that which featured for Argentina in the CONSUR Cup in which Argentina faced both Uruguay and Chile in away test matches. As such Hourcade is delivering on his promise of search for consistency to develop a game plan that Argentina can use to its advantage against Tier One opposition. While Santiago Phelan selected squads depending on availability  Hourcade is building from the ground up.  

Featuring in the team are six players who played in some or all of the 2013-2014 European club season. Of note is that the starting fly-half - inside-centre combination is to be Nicolás Sánchez and Gabriel Ascárate. The same partnership is expected to be used in June and possibly even for the Rugby Championship. Starting inside Sánchez will be Argentina's first choice scrum-half since the 2012 Rugby Championship, Martín Landajo.

Sánchez was joined this season at Bordeaux-Begles by Joaquín Tuculet who is to start at full-back while Facundo Isa and Benjamín Macome who both featured for Toulon and Stade Français are to start in the back-row. Newport-Gwent Dragons tighthead prop Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro is to start with former Gloucester hooker Matías Cortese and the promising Lucas Nogurea Paz in the front-row. 

Hourcade has opted to start the electirc fullback Santiago Cordero on the left wing whlie Racing Métro second-rower will be joined by Matías Alemanno in a combination highly likely to start against Ireland in the first test in Resistencia.

The match is to be played at club CRAI in Santa Fé on Saturday. it is scheduled to kick-off at 4:15pm. It is the final match before Hourcade's team hosts Ireland and Scotland for a total of three test matches in June. 

Lucas Noguera Paz
Matías Cortese
Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Matías Alemanno
Tomás Lavanini
Rodrigo Baez
Facundo Isa
Benjamín Macome
Martín Landajo (captain)
Nicolás Sánchez
Santiago Cordero
Gabriel Ascárate
Jerónimo De La Fuente
Matías Orlando
Joaquín Tuculet

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