NEW PLYMOUTH: Argentina have dropped veteran back-row forward Juan Manuel Leguizamon among sweeping changes to their line-up for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash with the All Blacks in New Plymouth.
After losing twice to South Africa so far in the tournament this year, while New Zealand are unbeaten in two clashes with Australia, Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade replaced nearly half his starting 15.
The 34-year-old Leguizamon, who has played 78 Tests, is among seven changes, losing his place to Benjamin Macome.
“We choose the best players for each match,” Hourcade said when naming his team on Thursday.
“Benjamin Macome is training very well, is a ball-carrier similar to Leguizamon and now will have his opportunity. The rest of the players are also training very well.”
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro replaced injured tighthead prop Ramiro Herrera, and Guido Petti was preferred at lock over Tomas Lavanini.
Lavanini was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in Argentina’s second loss to South Africa.
While a judicial panel deemed no further action was required, Hourcade has opted not to play him in New Zealand or against Australia next week.
Other changes to face New Zealand include Javier Ortega Desio at flanker ahead of Tomas Lezana, while in the backs Nicolas Sanchez returns at fly-half in place of Juan Martin Hernandez.
Matias Moroni is preferred to Matias Orlando at centre while Santiago Cordero comes in for wing Ramiro Moyano.
Argentina have never beaten the All Blacks, which Hourcade said gave them “a huge motivation” going into Saturday’s Test.
Argentina (15-1): Joaquin Tuculet; Santiago Cordero, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Emiliano Boffelli; Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Benjamin Macome, Javier Ortega Desio, Pablo Matera; Matias Alemanno, Guido Petti; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (capt), Lucas Noguera Paz
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Santiago Garcia Botta, Enrique Pieretto Heilan, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lezana, Martin Landajo, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Matias Orlando.--AFP