Monday, November 10, 2014

International Rugby: Argentina set for changes v Italy

Photo Rugby Fun
Los Pumas head coach Daniel Hourcade has made four changes to his squad of twenty-eight players for Saturday's away test match against Italy in Genoa. Rodrigo Báez and Matías Alemanno have left the squad based on injury and Hourcade has decided against calling-up professional players. El huevo has selected recent Pumitas players Tomás Lezana and Guido Petti which continues with the Hourcadism policy of building for the future by not prioritizing the present. It is aimed at having a strong Pampas XV in time for Super Rugby in 2016 and sees the continued non-selection of fit players such as Tomás Leonardí, Patricio Albacete and Manuel Carizza. Also named are Lucas González Amorosino and Juan Manuel Leguizamón, two players who missed out on facing Scotland. The changes strongly suggest what the starting team is to be next weekend.

With Argentina in desperate need of turning-around the under-whelming performance at Murrayfield it is likely that Hourcade will refrain from making wholesale changes. There will, nonetheless, be selection alterations in both the forwards and backs to give Argentina a team with a good chance at winning. 

The performance of Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro from the bench in Edinburgh was such that he will most likely replace Ramiro Herrera at tighthead prop. Scotland's front-row, like Australia on the Gold Coast, was able to scrumage low to counteract the tall Herrera. In both matches Tetaz Chaparro came on and the scrum instantly improved. Hourcade started Tetaz Chaparro in Mendoza and the Australians were unable to perform to the same level as in the earlier test.

Tetaz Chaparro will be the only change to the front-row unless Agustín Creevy is unable to recover in time to be declared fit. Creevy was in doubt to start against Scotland but did so only to be replaced by Matías Cortese in the 19th minute. Without Creevy in Edinburgh a lack of leadership cost the South Americans extensively. Argentina had been leading 10-7 upon Creevy's departure and Martín Landajo was unable to provide direction in his place.

Hourcade's extensive use of Pampas XV players over those based abroad had a clear impact at Murrayfield. While leaders including Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and Juan Manuel Leguizamón were not fit for international duty Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza, Santiago Fernández and Gonzalo Tiesi all were.

All remain outside of Hourcade's squad with Leguizamón being the only player in consideration to face Italy. The loss of Rodrigo Báez to injury means that a returning Leguizamón is a priority for Genoa. Báez left in the 16th minute which saw 21 year old Facundo Isa joining 24 year old Javier Ortega Desio and 30 year old Leonardo Senatore as the back-row for the remainder of the match.

Leguizamón had been Argentina's starting number eight in the Rugby Championship. The starting back-row consisted of Leguizamón, Fernández Lobbe and Pablo Matera. The leading back-rower and the player deemed the best bench player for the position was Benjamíon Macome. Senatore, in other words, was to be injury cover and not a starting or bench player in a fully-fit Pumas team.

This weekend, however, Senatore will be an important player and Argentina will select Leguizamón, if fit, to join him. Javier Desio Ortega is the likely third starting back-rower with Facundo Isa being on the bench. Macome remains in the squad but will not play in Genoa. He could, however, be fit to face France on November 22 in Paris.

The loss of Báez has see Hourcade not selecting Tomás Leonardí who is receiving regular game time in the Guinness Pro 12. Instead an uncapped 20 year old, Tomás Lezana has joined the squad. The call-up of Lezana follows the decision of Tomás De la Vega to leave PladAR. Lezana, together with Guido Petti joined the team and is involved in training in Italy.

Petti had been in the initial squad but, like Matías Alemanno, was not able to take part in training for Scotland. Consequently Hourcade called-up Lucas Ponce who was a replacement at Murrayfield. The returning Petti is now likely to replace Ponce on the bench with Tomás Lavanini and Juan Cruz Guillemaín having a second opportunity as the starting second-row.

Behind the scrum the performance of Martín Landajo will all but surely see him replaced by Tomás Cubelli. The injuection of Cubelli not only lifted Argentina's game but Landajo's organization of his forwards was extremely poor as evidenced by tries to Richie Gray, Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg. On all occasions the scrum-haolf failed in the job to have Scotland appropriately marked.

Cubelli will likely be the only change in the halves with Nicolás Sánchez starting at flyhalf and Juan Martín Hernández being the starting inside centre. There could well, however, be a change to the bench with Santiago González Iglesias making way for either Jerónimo De la Fuente or Matías Moroni.

De la Fuente would be the more likely and he covers both mid-field positions. Horacio Agulla had been the replacement for Marcelo Bosch in Edinburgh and is now wet to be named at outside centre against Italy. Bosch is out of the squad for the fixture and based on him failing to pass twice to Manuel Montero it is justied. Bosch ignored two opportunities by not passing with Montero well placed to score.

Montero is another player who could miss out in Genoa. Returning will be Lucas González Amorosino and he is a strong contender to start on the left wing. His return would see Montero out of the team altogether with Joaquín Tuculet and Juan Imhoff making-up the starting back-three. Should Santiago Cordero receive game time this tour then the Italian test is the time for it to happen. He ought to be Argentina's back-three replacement. 

Predicted team to face Italy
1
Marcos Ayerza
Leicester
England
2
Agustín Creevy
Worcester
England
3
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Lyon
France
4
Tomás Lavanini
Racing Métro
France
5
Juan Cruz Guillemaín
Stade Français
France
6
Juan Manuel Leguizamón
Lyon
France
7
Javier Desio Ortega
Estudiantes
Entre Rios
8
Leonardo Senatore
Worcester
England
9
Tomás Cubelli
Belgrano
URBA
10
Nicolás Sánchez
Toulon
France
11
Lucas González Amorosino
Cardiff Blues
Wales
12
Juan Martín Hernández
Toulon
France
13
Horacio Agulla
Bath
England
14
Juan Imhoff
Racing Métro
France
15
Joaquín Tuculet
Unattached

16
Matías Cortese
Liceo
Cuyo
17
Ramiro Herrera
Castres
France
18
Lucas Noguera Paz
Lince
Tucumán
19
Guido Petti
SIC
URBA
20
Facundo Isa
Santiago LT
Santiagueña
21
Martín Landajo
CASI
URBA
22
Jerónimo de La Fuente
Duendes
Rosario
23
Santiago Cordero
Regatas
URBA


No comments:

Post a Comment