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Argentina name strong side for Springboks clash in Rugby Championship

FILE - Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma. Photo: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

FILE - Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma. Photo: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Published Aug 12, 2021


JOHANNESBURG – Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has selected a powerful and experienced starting XV to face the Springboks in their opening Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.

The Pumas coach finds himself in the fortuitous position to select a near unchanged team to the one that beat Wales 33-11 last month. The starting XV for the clash in Gqeberha is, moreover, filled to the brim with the players that recorded the famous 25-15 triumph over the All Blacks last year in the Tri-Nations.

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Only five players – eightman Rodrigo Bruni – who played in that victory over New Zealand, scrumhalf Felipe Ezcurra, outside center Santiago Chocobares, wing Bautista Delguy and full-back Santiago Carreras – in the run-on team have less than 10 Test caps.

Furthermore, Ledesma has only had to make four changes to his team since the last time they played, introducing Ezcurra into the starting XV, while on the bench replacement prop Carlos Muzzio, veteran scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou and wing Sebastian Cancelliere will make an impact later on in the encounter.

Elsewhere, the Pumas are represented by the usual suspects in Nuhuel Tetaz Chaparro, captain Julian Montoya, Guido Petti, Pablo Matera, flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, Matias Moroni and Jeronimo de la Fuente.

The match is scheduled to kick-off at 5pm.

Springbok team: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (capt), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw (Harlequins, England), 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Dan du Preez, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Morne Steyn

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Argentina team: 15 Santiago Carreras; 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 11 Matías Moroni; 10 Nicolás Sanchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra; 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Facundo Isa, 6 Pablo Matera; 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti; 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 1 Julián Montoya (capt)

Substitutes: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Carlos Muzzio, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Tomás Lavanini, 20 Matías Alemanno, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Sebastián Cancelliere


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