Thursday, June 19, 2014

International Rugby: Argentine team named to face Scotland

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Argentine Headcoach Daniel Hourcade has confirmed his lineup for Argentina's final home international this month. Coming off two losses against European Champions, Ireland Hourcade has made a total of nine changes to the starting lineup as Los Pumas look for their first win of the year against a Tier 1 nation. The match is to be played at the Estadio Mario Albeto Kempes (pictured to the right) in  Córdoba on Friday. Kick-off is schedules for 4:10pm local time. The reason for the match not being played on Saturday is the FIFA World Cup as Argentina is set to play a group match against Iran in Belo Horizonte. 

Selected as captain for the fixture will be Tomás Cubelli. The scrum-half remains Argentine based but is a player who has been singled out as a potential long term option. Cubelli played for the Barbarians in the 39-29 win against England in Twickenham last month. He was one of four Pumas involved but is the only one to be representing Argentina in the June internationals.

Cubelli will form a halves combination with Nicolás Sánchez who has been one of Argentina's stand out performances so far this season. He is to play inside Santiago González Iglesias who is to make his first test start at inside centre. González Iglesias replaces the injured Gabriel Ascárate and will form a new-look mid-field duo with fellow Pampas XV back Matías Orlando.

The back-three also sees changes with Lucas González Amorosino moving from the right wing to fullback which sees Joaquín Tuculet named on the bench. The combination from the first test against Ireland returns on the wings as Manuel Montero and Santiago Cordero are to start against Scotland. Tuculet will be covering all back-three positions due to uncapped mid-fielder Matiás Moroni being named alongside Tuculet and Martín Landajo as the replacement backs.

A new-look back-row sees Tomás De la Vega moving from the side of the scrum to number 8 and Javier Ortega Desio joining Rodrigo Báez to complete the trio. Antonio Ahualli de Chazal will cover from the bench in another change. Manuel Montero is to start with Matías Alemanno on the second-row which sees he leading player in the position against Ireland, Tomás Lavanini, dropping to the bench.

The front-row is new with Bruno Postiglioni given an opportunity to start ahead of Lucas Noguiera Paz while Matíaz Díaz is to start at tight-head prop ahead of Ramiro Herrera who drops out of the 23. Starting at hooker will be Julián Montoya who replaces the injured Matías Cortese and will have the young Santiago Iglesias Valdez providing cover from the bench.

All players have a lot to play for as Hourcade is set to confirm the remainder of his Rugby Championship squad which will travel to the USA for high performance training in Pensacola, Florida.

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