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Rugby-Argentina's Ledesma overhauls side for second crack at All Blacks

26 Nov 2020 / 09:40 H.

    SYDNEY, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has completely overhauled his team for Saturday's Tri-Nations test against New Zealand in Newcastle, retaining only five players that started last week's draw against Australia.

    Ledesma had made only minor tweaks to his side for last week's clash against the Wallabies after the breakthrough win over New Zealand in their tournament opener, but drew fully on his squad for Thursday's team announcement.

    Nicolas Sanchez, who has scored all of Argentina's 40 points in their first two matches, remains at flyhalf with inspirational captain Pablo Matera and Marcos Kremer retained in the back row and Guido Petti at lock.

    Hooker Julian Montoya, who enjoyed great success at turning over the ball against New Zealand and Australia, is the other player to back up at the Hunter Stadium, reflecting the emphasis Ledesma's tactics place on disrupting opposition ball.

    Winger Juan Imhoff has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a torn hamstring, forcing one of the 10 changes, and is replaced on the left wing by Santiago Cordero.

    Emiliano Boffelli, who missed the win over the All Blacks with injury, returns at fullback with Ramiro Moyano rounding out the back three on the right wing in his first test since last year's World Cup. Felipe Excurra will start at scrumhalf in place of Gonzalo Bertranou and there will be an entirely new centre partnership in Juan Cruz Mallia and Jeronimo de la Fuente.

    Lucas Paulos will earn his first cap in the second row in place of Matias Alemanno, who drops to the bench after two impressive outings at lock.

    Team: 15-Emiliano Boffelli, 14-Ramiro Moyano, 13-Juan Cruz Mallia, 12-Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11-Santiago Cordero, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Felipe Excurra, 8-Facundo Isa, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Pablo Matera (captain), 5-Lucas Paulos, 4-Guido Petti, 3-Santiago Medrano, 2-Julian Montoya, 1-Mayco Vivas

    Replacements: 16-Santiago Socino, 17-Nahuel Tetaz Chapparo, 18-Lucio Sordoni, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Santiago Grondona, 21-Gonzalo Bertranou, 22-Santiago Carreras, 23-Lucas Mensa

    (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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