MENDOZA, Argentina - Tomas Lavanini has been recalled to add power and aggression to the Argentina pack in their only change as they prepare to meet South Africa for a second successive week in the Rugby Championship in Mendoza on Saturday.
The Springboks dominated the Pumas forwards in winning 34-21 in their opening game in Durban and Lavanini is expected to help rectify that situation. The 25-year-lock has a well-founded reputation for robust play and his ability to prove disruptive could cause South Africa problems.
Lavanini, who came off the bench last weekend, set a new record of six yellow cards in Pumas tests last year. He is the only change to the starting XV as he takes the place of Matias Alemanno.
Saturday’s match marks the home debut for new coach Mario Ledesma, who added reinforcements to the squad after returning from Durban and has named two to the bench. French-based hooker Facundo Bosch will be among the replacements and inside centre Jeronimo de la Fuente is also back on the reserve bench after injury. Bosch is one of only two Europe-based players in the Argentina squad. The other is Saracens tighthead Juan Figallo.
Argentina team: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.
Regarding Saturday’s challenge against Argentina, Erasmus said: “We’ve always rated them as a very physical team and we felt the game (in Durban) was physical. They’re going to step it up and I think they will come hard at our mauling, scrums and the breakdowns.”