Noves urges fringe players to seize their chance


Argentina will attempt to inflict more misery on depleted France in the first game of the two-Test series in Tucuman on Sunday.

Guy Noves will field a much-changed side at the Estadio Monumental Jose Fierro, with several players unavailable due to their participation in the Top 14 semi-finals.

Jules Plisson will captain Les Bleus for the first time in the absence of Guilhem Guirado, with wing Xavier Mignot, centre Julien Rey and scrum-half Baptiste Serin among seven debutants in the starting line-up.

France lost their last three games in the Six Nations and Noves is be looking for players to seize their opportunity when they face a Pumas side who beat Italy 30-24 last weekend.

"One of the positive elements of this tour is that we can measure the depth of the French reservoir," he said.

"There are those players who have been in reserve, but who could quickly integrate. The group will be together for the next three years.

"They start from scratch. We will soon see if they have the physical and technical capacity to hold their place, it is a big opportunity for them. They have the chance to stake a claim. I am optimistic.

"Now we will face an opponent whose qualities are known - we will be able to measure our level against the Argentines. We are here to defend French values in a friendly country, but which is temporarily our enemy on the field."

Prop Ramiro Herrera returns to the Argentina side at the expense of Santiago Garcia Botta after serving a suspension, while loose forward Javier Ortega Desio comes in for the injured Matias Alemanno.

Nicolas Sanchez will attempt to inspire World Cup semi-finals Argentina to another victory after another eye-catching display in the triumph over Italy.

France thrashed Argentina 49-10 when the two sides last met at this venue four years ago, but Daniel Hourcade's current crop are a far different proposition.