Rugby Championship

Argentina lose key flank

2016-09-08 07:24
Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Getty Images)

Hamilton - Inspirational Argentina flank Juan Manuel Leguizamon has lost his fitness battle and been ruled out of Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand.

His absence is one of three injury-related changes coach Daniel Hourcade has been forced to make from the side that pulled off a historic first home win over South Africa, 26-24, almost two weeks ago.

Leguizamon, who shares the Argentina record of playing nine Tests against the All Blacks, has suffered swelling to a thigh injury since that match and has been replaced by Javier Ortega Desio.

Lock Guido Petti replaces the experienced Thomas Lavanini while wing Matthias Moroni comes in for Manuel Montero.

The promising Marcos Kremer, a 115 kg flank who has just turned 19, is set to make his international debut off the bench.

Argentina have never beaten the All Blacks with a 21-all draw in 1985 their best performance in 22 matches.

The last time the two sides met, during pool play in the World Cup last year, the All Blacks won 26-16.

But despite the bleak history, backrow forward Facundo Isa said the entry of the Jaguares into the southern hemisphere Super Rugby competition this year has bolstered the confidence of the Test side.

"Super Rugby gave us an experience that was very important to many of us, confronting the different franchises," he said.

"The team matured a lot, and that inspires us to beat New Zealand.

"We are working hard for his match, which is very important to us. We trust our game (plan), as proposed by the staff, and we want to translate it into how we play on the field."

Teams:

New Zealand 

15 Ben Smith; 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea; 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Read (capttain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino; 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick; 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

Argentina

15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Matthias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Juan Martin Hernandez, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Mark Kremer, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano

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Fixtures
01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:05
02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand, Buenos Aires 00:10
08 October 2016
South Africa v New Zealand, Durban 17:05
Argentina v Australia, London 20:30
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