Pumas recall Contepomi
November 6, 2012
Felipe Contepomi won the last of his 78 Test caps against France in June © Getty Images
Argentina have handed veteran Felipe Contepomi a recall for their clash with Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The 35-year-old Stade Francais centre sat out the recent Rugby Championship due to a release agreement between the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) and the French clubs and was not included in the Pumas' original squad for their end of year tour. But coach Santiago Phelan added him to the selection mix ahead of their opener and has now handed him a starting place.
Contepomi's return is one of six changes to the side that was beaten by Australia in their final Rugby Championship clash last month with Phelan also opting for a further two positional changes.
Gonzalo Tiesi will partner Contepomi in midfield in what will be his first appearance for the Pumas since the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Juan Martin Hernandez shifts from fly-half to fullback with Nicolas Sanchez handed the play-making duties.
With Patricio Albacete sidelined through injury, flanker Julio Farias Cabello moves into the second row where he will link up with Manuel Carizza with Leonardo Senatore coming into the back row.
In the front row Leicester's Marcos Ayerza benefits from the retirement of Rodrigo Roncero and the absence of Gomez Kodela to start on the loose-head side of the scrum alongside Eusebio Guinazu and Juan Figallo. The in-form Juan Imhoff takes the left wing slot from Horacio Agulla, with Gonzalo Camacho on the other wing.
No.8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe will skipper the side on the occasion of his 50th Test cap.
Argentina: JM Hernandez (Racing Metro), G Camacho (Exeter), G Tiesi (San Isidro), F Contepomi (Stade Francais), J Imhoff (Racing Metro), N Sanchez (Bordeaux-Begles), M Landajo (San Isidro), M Ayerza (Leicester), E Guinazu (Southern Kings), J Figallo (Montpellier); M Carizza (Racing Metro), JF Cabello (Tucuman); L Senatore (Gimnasia Rosario), JM Leguizamon (Lyon), JM Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon, captain).
Replacements: A Creevy (Montpellier), B Posiglioni (La Plata), J Gomez (Los Matreros), T Vallejos (Scarlets), T Leonardi (San Isidro), N Vergallo (Southern Kings), H Agulla (Bath), J Tuculet (Grenoble).
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