Hourcade shuffles Argentina deck again for All Blacks clash

Argentina have made seven changes to their team for the Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand in New Plymouth on Saturday, having suffered successive defeats to start the tournament.

South Africa inflicted a pair of opening losses on the Pumas, and coach Daniel Hourcade has swung the axe in response.

Lock Tomas Lavanini has been left out after two yellow cards in the 41-23 reverse to the Springboks in their previous fixture.

Replacing him is Guido Petti while Benjamin Macome surprisingly comes in for Juan Manuel Leguizamon at number eight. Tomas Lezana drops to the bench in favour of Javier Ortega Desio in the other change on the back row.

On the right wing Santiago Cordero takes Ramiro Moyano's spot, Matias Moroni replaces Matias Orlando at outside centre and Nicolas Sanchez starts at fly-half due to a stomach issue for Juan Martin Hernandez.

Another enforced change sees Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro come in for tighthead prop Ramiro Herrera, who has a back strain.

"For us to play against the All Blacks is always a huge motivation and you end up with positive things, because facing the best makes you grow," Hourcade said.

"We prepare to face the best team in the world and we will enter with a strategy looking to hurt the opponent, but we know the opponent that we have.

"Benjamin Macome is training very well, he is a ball carrier similar to Leguizamon and now will have his opportunity. The rest of the players are also training very well and, as I always say, there are no substitutes and starters. We choose the best player for each match."

The team selection sees Hourcade shuffle the deck again after he made six changes for the second game with the Springboks.

Argentina have never beaten New Zealand in 24 Tests, drawing once in 1985.


Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Santiago Cordero, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Emiliano Boffelli, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Lucas Noguera Paz, Agustin Creevy (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Matias Alemanno, Guido Petti, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Benjamin Macome.

Replacements: Julian Montoya, Santiago Garcia Botta, Enrique Pieretto, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lezana, Martin Landajo, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Matias Orlando.

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