Pumas pick France-based prop for All Blacks
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Argentina have relaxed a locals-only policy again by picking Stade Francais prop Ramiro Herrera for a Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand in Buenos Aires Saturday.
Herrera replaces Santiago Medrano, now a substitute, for the Estadio Jose Amalfitani showdown as the Pumas seek a first win over the All Blacks after 27 failed attempts.
The locals-only rule was eased this year with two other props, Juan Figallo of Saracens and Gaston Cortes of Leicester Tigers, called up separately.
Figallo started both Tests against South Africa in August and Cortes came off the bench in a 24-46 defeat by New Zealand in Nelson this month.
Argentina have not picked Europe-based stars since the 2015 Rugby World Cup to encourage the best players to play for the Buenos Aires-based Jaguares in Super Rugby.
Officials feared that if there was a mass exodus to French and English clubs, domestic rugby would be severely weakened and the Jaguares uncompetitive internationally.
The second change in personnel to the team that won 23-19 away to Australia this month sees Bautista Ezcurra come into the backline at inside centre for injured winger Ramiro Moyano.
Replacing Moyano involved a reshuffle with Jeronimo de la Fuente moving from inside to outside centre to accommodate Ezcurra and Matias Moroni going from outside centre to the wing.
On the bench, the changes include Tomas Cubelli taking over from veteran Martin Landajo as the back-up scrumhalf.
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Matias Orlando, 22 Sebastian Cancelliere.
Date: Saturday, September 29
Venue: Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 19.40 (22.40 GMT; 11.40 NZ time Sunday, September 30)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)