Argentina pick experience for England Test

Argentina have selected seasoned campaigners Marcos Ayerza, Patricio Albacete and Juan Manuel Leguizamon for their QBE International against England at Twickenham.


The Pumas may have lost stars Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Juan Martin Hernandez to injury, but they have still picked a starting XV containing 417 caps for Saturday’s Test.

That number is 204 more than England fielded in last Saturday’s 20-13 victory over Australia and all but two players are at Aviva Premiership or French clubs.

Veteran Leicester loosehead Ayerza will spearhead Argentina’s challenge at the scrum, while Leguizamon leads the team in the absence of Lobbe.

Marcelo Bosch of Saracens has been selected at outside centre with Juan Imhoff and Bath’s Horacio Agulla on the wings.

“It’s important to have experience in many areas of the team,” Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade said.

“We’re building for the 2015 World Cup and the young players can learn from the more experienced ones.”

Hourcade insists Argentina, who finished bottom of the Rugby Championship, will aim to break away from their forward-orientated game by stretching England.

“We are going to be more offensive and attack England a little bit more that we usually do,” he said.

“England played a tighter game against Australia, but they will be more open against us.”

Argentina: L G Amorosino (Oyonnax); H Agulla (Bath), M Bosch (Saracens), S Fernandez (Bayonne), J Imhoff (Racing Metro); N Sanchez (Bordeaux), T Cubelli (Belgrano Athletic); M Ayerza (Leicester), E Guinazu (Bath), M Bustos (Montpellier), M Galarza (Worcester), P Albacete (Toulouse), P Matera (Leicester), J F Cabello (Tucuman), J M Leguizamon (Lyon).

Replacements: S I Valdez (Tucuman), N Lobo (Free), J P Orlandi (Bath), M Carizza (Western Province), B Macome (Tucuman), M Landajo (Casi), G Tiesi (Newcastle), S Cordeno (Regatas).