Pumas make one change for crunch England match
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has made just one change to his side that beat Tonga for the do-or-die match against England on Saturday in the World Cup ‘group of death’.
Javier Ortega Desio comes in at No.8 in place of Tomas Lezana, who drops down to the bench for the game at Tokyo Stadium that will have a big say on who qualifies from Pool C.
Pumas hooker Agustin Creevy, also named on the bench, has described Saturday’s match as “like a war, it’s like a final for us”.
Argentina suffered a nail-biting, last-minute 21-23 loss to France in their opening game that has put them on the back foot and they need to beat England to realistically keep alive their hopes of progressing from the pool.
The Pumas secured a bonus-point 28-12 win against Tonga that kept them in the hunt but they are aware they will have to up their game considerably against England, who have won both their opening fixtures.
The other surprise sprung by Ledesma is not finding any place in the matchday 23 for flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, retaining Benjamin Urdapilleta as starting pivot and preferring utility back Lucas Mensa on the bench.
With the mind games already starting ahead of the game, Creevy has rubbished England’s style as “boring”, a jibe the English players hit back at, vowing to prove him wrong when Saturday comes.
If Creevy makes it onto the field on Saturday, he will break Argentina’s record for most caps. He is currently tied on 87 with the legendary Felipe Contepomi.
Wing Matias Moroni has likened playing the English to Argentina facing arch-rivals Brazil in football.
“Obviously playing against England is a special game. I think it’s like playing football against Brazil. It’s something different,” he said.
“It has a different taste, but we have to focus on our own game and play well for 80 minutes,” added Moroni.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 3, 2019
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Lucas Mensa, 23 Bautista Delguy.
Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 17.00 (05.00 Argentina time; 08.00 GMT; 09.00 England time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)