Rugby World Cup
Preview: Argentina v Namibia -- expect a landslide
Nic Atkin
October 10, 2015

Diego Maradona watched Argentina out as they saw off Tonga in Leicester and fired them up with a team talk in the dressing room afterwards, promising to return if they reached the semifinals. Thanks to New Zealand's thumping seven-try win over Tonga on Friday night, the Pumas have already reached the last eight. Argentina return to Leicester City Stadium for Sunday's clash against Namibia knowing they will face Ireland or France in Cardiff in the quarterfinals, and that has seen them duly ring the changes for their final Pool C game.

Team news

Juan Martin Hernandez gets an outing at fly-half as Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade makes 11 changes. Hernandez -- one of the standout players as Argentina reached the 2007 semifinals -- has started at No.10 for his country onlythree times since 2012. Scrum-half Martin Landajo -- who will captain the Pumas with Agustin Creevy on the bench -- remains in the side along with lock Guido Petti, blindside flanker Pablo Matera and outside back Matias Moroni following the 45-16 victory over Tonga.

Namibia also make 11 changes, and will wrap up their World Cup campaign without Jacques Burger. Their inspirational skipper has retired from Test rugby following a concussion against Georgia, when the side picked up a losing bonus point, with flanker Rohan Kitshoff taking the armband. No.8 Renaldo Bothma had been picked on the bench by coach Phil Davies but was later banned for two weeks on Friday having been cited for a dangerous tackle against Georgia.

Argentina: Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Matias Moroni, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Juan Pablo Socino, Horacio Agulla, Juan Martin Hernandez, Martin Landajo (captain), Lucas Noguera, Julian Montoya, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Guido Petti, Matias Alemanno, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Facunda Isa.

Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Marcos Ayerza, Ramiro Herrera, Leonardo Senatore, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Tomas Cubelli, Marcelo Bosch, Juan Imhoff.

Namibia: Chrysander Botha, Johan Tromp, JC Greyling, Johan Deysel, Conrad Marais, Theuns Kotze, Eneill Buitendag, Jaco Engels, Torsten Van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Janco Venter, Tijuee Uanivi, Rohan Kitshoff (captain), Wian Conradie, Leneve Damens.

Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, Johnny Redelinghuys, Raoul Larson, Renaldo Bothma, Tinus Du Plessis, PJ Van Lill, Eugene Jantjes, Heinrich Smit.

Key head to head

Hernandez last started at No.10 for Argentina in the 37-25 win over South Africa in August, so he won't be too rusty in that regard. But he will have to be on top of his game to edge the battle with Theuns Kotze.

Key stats

* Argentina have named their youngest World Cup starting XV for 16 years

* The two sides have played each other only twice -- at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups -- with Argentina scoring 19 tries and Namibia just two.

* Namibia have never lost by fewer than 15 points against a Tier One side in the World Cup.


Namibia's odds of 75/1 to win with Unibet tell you everything about who's expected to win this one. You can get them at 3/1 as the last team to score, however, or at 13/2 to get the last try.


Leicester is set for spells of sunshine and temperatures of up to 13 Celsius in the afternoon with only light winds.


Namibia picked up their first ever point in the World Cup against Georgia, but Argentina's two victories over them have been the only two World Cup games the Pumas have won by more than 50 points, so we could see another landslide here.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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