Argentina names team to face BoksComment on this story
Pretoria – Argentina have made two changes to the team that defeated French Top 14 club Grenoble for a Rugby Championship first-round clash with South Africa in Pretoria on Saturday.
Horacio Agulla comes in on the right wing for injured Juan Imhoff and Juan Martin Hernandez replaces Jeronimo de la Fuente at inside centre.
Agulla (51 caps) and Hernandez (44) are among the five most experienced Pumas in a starting line-up named by coach Daniel Hourcade Thursday.
Only full back Joaquin Tuculet, left wing Manuel Montero and tighthead prop Ramiro Herrera have not played in the annual six-round southern hemisphere championship.
Argentina, who have drawn one and lost 11 Rugby Championship matches since debuting two seasons ago, played five warm-up matches.
Experimental teams lost 29-17 and 23-17 to European champions Ireland and 21-19 to Scotland home Tests in June.
But a Pumas team bolstered by Europe-based players fared much better against visiting Grenoble, winning 44-21 and 56-22 before leaving for South Africa.
Argentina have a new coach and captain since losing at home and away to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in the Championship last year.
Hourcade has taken the coaching reins from former Puma forward Santiago Phelan and hooker Agustin Creevy replaced loose forward Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe as skipper.
Lobbe and another former captain, No. 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, have been selected to face the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld stadium.
The Argentine starting line-up includes five players based in England, four in France, two in Argentina and four are unattached.
Joaquin Tuculet; Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Juan Martin Hernandez, Manuel Montero; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Pablo Matera; Tomas Lavanini, Mariano Galarza; Ramiro Herrera, Agustin Creevy (capt), Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: Matias Cortese, Lucas Noguera Paz, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Matias Alemanno, Leonardo Senatore, Tomas Cubelli, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino
Coach: Daniel Hourcade – Sapa-AFP