Pumas draft in Figuerola and Sambucetti
November 18, 2009
Argentina coach Santiago Phelan has made two changes to his side to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Scrum-half Agustin Figuerola and lock Mariano Sambucetti are the players to benefit, with London Irish No.9 Alfredo Lalanne and Toulon lock Esteban Lozada missing out.
The Pumas scrapped to a narrow defeat against England at Twickenham last weekend and have called on the same fearsome front-row for their date with Warren Gatland's men.
Gatland has talked down the influence of the Pumas' scrummaging, but the trio of Rodrigo Rondero, Mario Ledesma and Martin Scelzo is set to cause a number of problems.
The superb Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe retains the captaincy and starts at No.8 while Santiago Fernandez will continue his development as a fly-half in one of world rugby's most unforgiving atmospheres.
"Before coming on tour, we decided to play some players who perhaps did not have too much experience of international rugby," said Phelan. "We are not changing players because of performance. It is about what we think is best for this game against Wales.
"We think Wales will be very tough opponents - they are an excellent team that plays a very dynamic game. We saw them play New Zealand and Samoa recently, and also in the Six Nations this year. They are a good team that has played together a lot."
Argentina: H Agulla (Brive); L Borges (Albi), G Tiesi (Harlequins), M Rodriguez (Rosario), M Comuzzi (Pucara); S Fernandez (Hindu), A Figuerola (CASI); R Roncero (Stade Francais), M Ledesma (Clermont Auvergne), M Scelzo (Clermont Auvergne), M Sambucetti (Bristol), P Albacete (Toulouse), T Leonardi (San Isidro), A Abadie (Rovigo), JM Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon, capt)
Replacements: AV Basualdo (Toulouse), M Ayerza (Leicester), M Carizza (Biarritz), A Campos (Montauban), A Lalanne (London Irish), B Urdapilleta (C.U.B.A), H San Martin (Tala)
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton