Cheika banks on experience for Chile clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Argentina head coach Michael Cheika said on Thursday his much-changed outfit to face Chile in the World Cup this weekend can prove him a point.
Australian Cheika has made 11 changes from the victory over Samoa for Saturday’s South American derby in Nantes.
Cheika has handed starts to five experienced players, hooker Agustin Creevy, number eight Facundo Isa, scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli, flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez and wing Juan Imhoff.
They are all aged 30 or older with centre Jeronimo de la Fuente, who turned 32 in February, captaining the side.
Cheika’s Pumas need to beat Los Condores, the lowest-ranked side in the competition, to keep their hopes of a place in the quarterfinals alive.
“This team deserves to play in the World Cup, they have the chance to show what they can do,” Cheika told reporters.
“It’s a good team to play a very important World Cup match,” he added.
Creevy becomes just the second Argentina player to 18 World Cup matches, after former Pumas head coach and hooker Mario Ledesma.
Sanchez makes his 100th Test appearance, with Creevy the only other person to do so for the side.
Argentina finish their group campaign against Japan on October 8.
Chile are making their first appearance at a World Cup but have conceded 156 points in their opening three Pool D games.
Argentina: 15 Martin Bogado, 14 Rodrigo Isgro, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Pedro Rubiolo, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Joel Sclavi
Replacements: 16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Joaquin Oviedo, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Santiago Carreras, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.
Date: Saturday, September 30
Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT; 10.00 ART; 10.00 CLST)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland); Chris Busby (Ireland)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)