Rugby Championship

Pumas blood trio for opener

2015-07-15 07:13
Daniel Hourcade (AFP)

Christchurch - Argentina will hand Rugby Championship debuts to No 8 Facundo Isa, lock Guido Petti and wing Santiago Cordero when they take on world champions New Zealand in the competition opener on Friday.

Coach Daniel Hourcade has named the youngsters in his starting XV for the Test in Christchurch, where the Pumas will be looking for their first victory over the All Blacks in 20 attempts.

Isa, 21, made his debut off the bench against Scotland at Murrayfield last November, while 20-year-old Petti played the first of his four Tests against Italy on the same tour of Europe.

Cordero, who is also 21, has played nine tests since his debut against England in 2013 but has never faced one of the big three of the southern hemisphere.

Petti will start in the second row alongside the experienced Manuel Carizza, who was recalled to the Pumas squad after a good season for the Stormers in South Africa.

The trio are among a cadre of younger players who have shunned moves overseas to stay in Argentina with the country's Super Rugby team that will make its debut next year.

"It's a team built around our previous thoughts," Hourcade told reporters.

"In other words, taking into consideration players who need a rest or are still not 100 percent because of their participation in the European season.

"That gives us a chance to give some younger players a run-out before the World Cup. They've earned their place on the pitch."

Versatile back Juan Martin Hernandez, Argentina's most creative attacking player, was among a group of players Hourcade decided to rest for the New Zealand trip with an eye on this year's World Cup.

Argentina won their last match of the 2014 championship, against Australia in Mendoza, but have yet to win away from home after three campaigns.


New Zealand

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read, 7 McCaw, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty


15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Jeronimo De la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 5 Guido Petti Pagadizabal, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Nahuel Chaparro Tetaz, 19 Benjamin Macome, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino


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