Thursday, November 13, 2014

International Rugby: Argentina change eight for Italy


Photo: Prensa UAR
Los Pumas headcoach has responded to Saturday's lackluster showing against Scotland by announcing a significantly modified team to face Italy in the second of three test matches in Europe this month. Of the team that started in Edinburgh over half of the players per position will be different in Genoa. Two changes have been injury motivated while six are strategic with Hourcade having changed both halves and both centres in an attempt to give others an opportunity and also to enhance the chances of a South American victory. Of note is the test debut for nineteen year old Guido Petti and the selection of Facundo Isa for his first run-on test match. Severe weather in the region means the match has been moved forward a day to Friday afternoon. It will kick-off at 1:15pm Argentine time. 

Retained at fullback for Genoa is Joaquín Tuculet. The former Sale Sharks, Grenoble and Bordeaux-Begles player has started throughout the year under Hourcade. The only test he did not start in featured Lucas González Amorosino at the back. The Cardiff Blues winger will start on the right wing in place of Juan Imhoff who has paid the price for being yellow carded at Murrayfield.

Completing the back-three will be Manuel Montero who was not given opportunities against the Scots despite having been on hand twice only for Marcelo Bosch to not pass. Hourcade has dropped Bosch with him, like Imhoff, being out of the 23 altogether. This sees Horacio Agulla starting in the mid-field with Jerónimo De la Fuente. The combination is yet to have played together before and will be covered by Matías Moroni on the bench.

De la Fuente was a regular throughout the Rugby Championship and his selection sees Juan Martín Hernández moving to fly half with Nicolás Sánchez being demoted to the bench. It is the first time that Sánchez has not started and Hernández will join not Martín Landajo but, rather, Tomás Cubelli in the halves.

The five changes in the backs are to be complemented by three changes in the forwards. Back-rowers Leonardo Senatore and Javier Ortega Desio retain their places while twenty-one year old Facundo Isa replaces the injured Rodrigo Báez. Juan Manuel Leguizamón had been a possibility but remains sidelined joining Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Benjamín Macome and Pablo Matera as missing regular back-rowers.

The extent of the back-row issues sees the uncapped Tomás Lezana named on the bench. Aged just twenty he will earn his first cap should he receive game time. Also debuting is Guido Petti who has replaced Juan Cruz Guillemaín in the starting second-row with Tomás Lavanini. The error-ridden performance from Cruz Guillemaín sees him outside of the 23 with Lucas Ponce retaining his spot as the reserve second-rower.

Hourcade has also made two changes in the front-row with, firstly captain Agustín Creevy not being fit to play. This sees Matías Cortese starting at hooker and Santiago Iglesias Valdez being his replacement. Ramiro Herrera of Castres makes way for Lyon prop Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro who came on to improve the Pumas scrum against Scotland. 

#
Player
Team
Union
15
Joaquín Tuculet
Unattached

14
Lucas González Amorosino
Cardiff Blues
Wales
13
Horacio Agulla
Bath
England
12
Jerónimo De La Fuente
Duendes
Rosario
11
Manuel Montero
Pucurá
URBA
10
Juan Martín Hernández
Toulon
France
9
Tomás Cubelli
Belgrano
URBA
8
Leonardo Senatore
Worcester
England
7
Javier Ortega Desio
Estudiantes
Entre Rios
6
Facundo Isa
Lawn Tennis
Santiagueña
5
Tomás Lavanini
Racing Métro
France
4
Guido Petti
SIC
URBA
3
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Lyon
France
2
Matías Cortese
Liceo Naval
Cuyo
1
Marcos Ayerza
Leicester
England
16
Santiago Iglesias Valdez
Universitario
Tucumán
17
Lucas Noguera Paz
Lince
Tucumán
18
Ramiro Herrera
Castres
France
19
Lucas Ponce
CUBA
URBA
20
Tomás Lezana
Lawn Tennis
Santiagueña
21
Martín Landajo
CASI
URBA
22
Nicolás Sánchez
Toulon
France
23
Matías Moroni
CUBA
URBA

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