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Contepomi makes nine Los Pumas changes for France showdown

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Argentina coach Felipe Contepomi on Thursday named a refreshed team to face France this weekend in his first Test in charge of Los Pumas.

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Contepomi, 46, took over from Australian Michael Cheika after last year’s World Cup and has made nine changes to the starting line-up from the third-place play-off defeat by England for Saturday’s game.

Wing Bautista Delguy will make his first international appearance since November 2022 having missed out on World Cup selection.

The other changes in the backs are fullback Martin Bogado, centre Matias Moroni and scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou.

Among the pack they are No.8 Joaquin Oviedo, flank Pablo Matera, locks Lucas Paulos and Mattias Alemanno as well as prop Eduardo Bello.

On the bench, flank Bautista Pedemonte and lock Franco Molina are in line to make their debuts in Mendoza.

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Eight players in the matchday squad are based with French clubs including Pedemonte, who helped Vannes to Top 14 promotion for the coming season.

Former playmaker Felipe Contepomi left out 15 players from the World Cup in his maiden squad for two Tests against France and one against Uruguay.

Toulouse fullback Juan Cruz Mallia, Bordeaux-Begles lock Guido Petti and La Rochelle prop Juan Sclavi were unavailable due to their end-of-season commitments with their French clubs.

Los Pumas play Les Bleus on Saturday and again on July 13 before a Test against Uruguay a week later.

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They then play six games in the Rugby Championship before facing Italy, Ireland and France again in November.

Argentina: 15 Martin Bogado, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Joaquin Oviedo, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Franco Molina, 20 Bautista Pedemonte, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Matias Orlando.

Date: Saturday, July 6
Venue: Malvinas Argentinas Stadium, Mendoza
Kick-off: 16.00 (19.00 GMT; 21.00 CEST)
Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

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