Friday, May 15, 2015

International Rugby: Uruguay v Argentina Team Lists

Image URU
The teams for Saturday's international between Uruguay and Argentina in Montevideo have been announced. Los Teros will play host to Los Pumas in a fully capped international with World Rankings on the line. The winner of the match will be crowned South American Champion and lift the CONSUR Cup. Uruguay is coming off strong wins over Brazil and Paraguay but a shock away defeat against Chile. Uruguay also performed well against the USA in a non-international but came up short. Argentina defeated the North Americans twice but Saturday is unique in being the first capped international of the year for Argentina.  

Uruguay is to host Argentina on Saturday afternoon in the first of two matches of the 2015 CONSUR Cup. Argentina will take-on Paraguay seven days later in the second fixture which means that whoever wins in Montevideo this weekend will be the South American Champion. 

The match serves as key preparation for both teams ahead of a demanding season which has plenty of international rugby remaining and will culminate with the World Cup in England and Wales. With both Uruguay and Argentina involved in the global event their match-up this weekend carries added importance as the form of both teams will be assessed and players are indeed playing for squad selection.

In the wake of Uruguay's disappointing away defeat against Chile head coach Pablo Lemoine has made a number of changes to his team, some of which are out of character. He welcomes the inclusion of the European based Gastón Mieres and Mario Sagario but is not to have access to all of his professional players.

Mieres is to start at fullback in a changed back-three which includes Leandro Leivas and Francisco Bulanti. They wll play outside the familiar centres combination of Alberto Román and Joaquín Prada but a surprise in the halves sees winger Jerónimo Etcheverry named at fly half. He will play outside Rodrigo Silva.

Further changes to the team see a changed forward pack with Diego Magno being a case in point of a notable player dropping to the bench. Lemoine has opted for a starting back-row of Agustín Alonso, Gabriel Puig and Mathias Bruan. They will play behind Jorge Zerbino and Santiago Vilaseca in the second-row while Rodolfo De Mula, Arturo Avalo and Juan Echeverria are to make up the starting front-row.

The Pumas side named also features instances of experimentation with the front-row replacements arguably being superior to those starting. Bruno Postiglioni and Matías Díaz have been named as the starting props with Matías Cortese, back from Toulon, named at hooker. Completing the tight-five wll be Guido Petti and Gerónimo Albertario, the later of whom earns a test start ahead of Matías Alemanno.

Many of those named are going to be playing Super Rugby for the Argentine franchise in 2016 and beyond. The back-row showcases this with Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio and Facundo Isa all having signed for the franchise. They are all players with strong chances of being selected for the World Cup squad as is Martín Landajo who will captain the team from scrumhalf.

Landajo starts in place of the missing Tomás Cubelli who underwent a tonsil operation during the week. Santiago González Iglesias will play outside Landajo and form a 10-12-13 combination with more players on Super Rugby contracts. Gabriel Ascárate will start at inside centre while Jerónimo De la Fuente is to join him in the mid-field.

The starting wingers, Matías Orlando and Manuel Montero, are also both contracted to the UAR and wide speculation alludes to them being joined by Santiago Cordero who will play fullback. All three are contenders for Rugby World Cup selection but face stiff opposition in the form of players either still under contract abroad or returning home at the completion of the current season. 

The game will be streamed live and can be watched live by clicking here. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:30pm local time. 

Gastón Mieres
Santiago Cordero
Leandro Leivas
Matías Orlando
Joaquín Prada
Jerónimo De la Fuente
Alberto Román
Gabriel Ascárate
Francisco Bulanti
Manuel Montero
Jerónimo Etcheverry
Santiago González Iglesias
Rodrigo Silva
Martín Landajo
Mathias Braun
Facundo Isa
Gabriel Puig
Javier Ortega Desio
Agustín Alonso
Pablo Matera
Jorge Zerbino
Gerónimo Albertario
Santiago Vilaseca
Guido Petti
Juan Echeverria
Matías Díaz
Arturo Avalo
Matías Cortese
Rodolfo De Mula
Bruno Postiglioni 
Mario Sagario
Julián Montoya
German Kessler
Lucas Noguera Paz
Mateo Sanguinetti
Santiago García Botta
Diego Magno
Lisandro Ahualli de Chazal
Fernando Bascou
Tomás Lezana
Matías Beer
Gregorio Del Prete
Alejo Duran 
Juan León Novillo
Manuel Blengio
Joaquín Paz

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