Contepomi to lead Argentina

Date published: June 5 2013

Felipe Contepomi will skipper Argentina from inside centre when they face England on Saturday in an all-changed midfield.

Felipe Contepomi will skipper Argentina from inside centre when they face England on Saturday in an all-changed midfield.

The experienced campaigner, who retired from professional club rugby at the end of the recently-completed European season, is joined in the centres by Gonzalo Tiesi and takes over the captaincy reins from the absent Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Scrum-half Nicolas Sanchez, number six Julio Farias Cabello (who switches from the second row) and prop Maximiliano Bustos are the only survivors from the team that lost 46-24 to Ireland in November.

Pumas coach Santiago Phelan has decided to omit a number of key players ahead of the Rugby Championship rather than see them slug it out against a under-strength England.

“This is a great opportunity for these players, both the new ones and those with more experience,” said Phelan.

“To be in the Pumas again and represent your country implies a great responsibility and the more so given the magnitude of this match.

“England are a complete, balanced team. We know we'll have a big battle for the ball and that's why gaining it will be very important for us as well as being on top at the contact.”

Argentina: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Matias Orlando, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Felipe Contepomi (captain), 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Benjamin Macome, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Martin Garcia Veiga, 1 Pablo Henn.
Replacements: 16 Mauricio Guidone, 17 Guillermo Roan, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Tomas De la Vega, 21 Nicolas Vergallo, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Belisario Agulla.

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