Rugby Championship
Pumas look to rookies for All Blacks 'backlash'
July 16, 2015
Rugby Championship Preview: New Zealand v Argentina

Argentina have named three players new to the Rugby Championship for their tournament opener against the All Blacks in Christchurch.

Winger Santiago Cordero, No.8 Facunda Isa and lock Guido Petti Pagadizabal are in the starting 15 for the Test on Friday night. The three all have Test experience, as do the rest of the coach Daniel Hourcade's 23-strong line-up.

The match squad includes 15 players who have signed to play for the country's new Super Rugby franchise next year. Nine of them are in the run-on side, including skipper Agustin Creevy. The hooker is part of an experienced Pumas pack that includes prop Marcos Ayerza, and loose forwards Juan Manuel Leguizamon and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Agustin Creevy waves to the fans, Argentina v New Zealand, Rugby Championship 2012, Estadio Unico de La Plata, La Plata, September 29, 2012
Agustin Creevy captains the Pumas from the front-row © Getty Images

Missing from the match will be four frontline players Hourcade chose to rest from the trip to New Zealand: versatile back Juan Martin Hernandez, No.8 Leonardo Senatore, flanker Pablo Matera and lock Tomas Lavanini.

The Pumas are taking little comfort from the All Blacks' scratchy performance in their first rugby Test of the year. Instead, Hourcade is bracing for a backlash after New Zealand struggled to a 25-16 win over Samoa in Apia last week. Hourcade was aware that the All Blacks had rested their Highlanders and Hurricanes contingents because of the Super Rugby final.

"But I prefer them to have a good game and not a bad game," he said. "Now surely, they are going to correct what they have done. That's why they are the best team in the world."

Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Jeronimo De la Fuente, Santiago Cordero, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Facundo Isa, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon; Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Manuel Carizza, Ramiro Herrera, Agustin Creevy (captain), Marcos Ayerza. Replacements: Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Benjamin Macome, Javier Ortega Desio, Martin Landajo, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.


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