Preview: Argentina v Namibia

Date published: October 9 2015

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Argentina will be determined to keep their winning momentum going when they face Namibia in their Pool C clash in Leicester on Sunday.

Los Pumas are on a high after three impressive showings at this year's World Cup and their effort in their previous match – a 46-15 victory against Tonga – showed that they are currently one of the tournament's in-form teams.

Argentina scored five tries in that match against Tonga and prior to that they crossed for seven tries in their 54-9 defeat of Georgia in their second group match.

And despite suffering a 26-16 defeat in their opener to New Zealand, Los Pumas can hold their heads high as they dominated large parts of that match.

At an average age of 26 years and 46 days old, Argentina's starting line-up for their clash with Namibia is the youngest they have selected at a World Cup for 16 years. The last time they selected a younger team at a RWC was in their 32-16 pool defeat of Samoa in 1999.

Argentina's team has 349 caps which makes it their most inexperienced at a Rugby World Cup since the same match 16 years ago when the run-on team had 348 caps.

Despite that, two of the starters, Juan Martin Hernandez and Horacio Agulla, played in Argentina's bronze final win against France at the Rugby World Cup 2007.

Los Pumas were full value for their win over Tonga and know that another clinical performance will set them up nicely ahead of the tournament's play-offs.

By contrast, Namibia have battled at this year's tournament but they can be proud of their efforts as they have delivered competitive efforts in all their matches.

The Welwitchias have gained worldwide respect for their progress in this Rugby World Cup. They gained their first point in finals history when they were defeated 17-16 by Georgia on Wednesday, with fly-half Theuns Kotze scoring all their points.

That followed defeats to New Zealand (58-14) and Tonga (35-21) in their previous matches.

The defeat to Georgia came at a big cost as they lost the services of their talismanic captain Jacques Burger due to concussion early in the first-half.

Burger's injury means he has played his final Test as he announced before the start of the tournament that he would retire after the World Cup.

But Namibia will be keen to show they are not a one-man team. They showed great improvement in that narrow defeat to Georgia – without Burger for most of the match – and although they face an Argentina side full of confidence, they will be keen to continue where they left off in their previous match.

Ones to watch:

For Argentina: Veteran playmaker Juan Martin Hernandez returns to action after missing the Tonga encounter due to injury. Hernandez played at inside centre during Argentina's matches against New Zealand and Georgia, and although he did well in both those matches – before limping off with a hamstring knock against Georgia – he will be keen to shine in the number 10 jersey as this will be only the third time since 2012 which he starts at fly-half.

For Namibia: New captain Rohan Kitshoff takes over the leadership role and openside flanker berth from Namibia legend Jacques Burger. As if he isn't under enough pressure replacing Burger as the team's skipper, Kitshoff will also have the extra burden of filling in for the Saracens stalwart as the team's scavenger at the breakdowns which is no easy task.

Head-to-head: The battle of the scrum-halves should be entertaining one as both Argentina's Martin Landajo and Namibia's Eneill Buitendag are feisty characters, who seldom take a backward step in the heat of battle. Landajo's decision-making will also be closely scrutinised, as he takes over his side's captaincy from regular skipper Agustin Creevy, and Buitendag will be keen to round off his tournament with a solid performance after alternating with Eugene Jantjies in the number nine jersey throughout the competition.

Previous results: 

2007: Argentina won 67-14 in Gosford
2003: Argentina won 63-3 in Marseille

Prediction: Even though Argentina are not at full strength, they will still prove too strong for the Africans. Argentina to win by 20 points!

The teams:

Argentina: 15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Martin Landajo (c), 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Julian Montoya, 1. Lucas Noguera.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19. Leonardo Senatore, 20 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Juan Imhoff.

Namibia: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Johan Tromp, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Conrad Marais, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eneill Buitendag, 8 Leneve Damens, 7 Wian Conradie, 6 Rohan Kitsoff (captain), 5 Tijuee Uanivi, 4 Janco Venter, 3 Johannes Coetzee, 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Johnny Redelinghuys, 18 Raoul Larson, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Tinus Du Plessis, 21 PJ Van Lill, 22 Eugene Jantjes, 23 Heinrich Smit.

Date: Sunday, October 12
Venue: Leicester City Stadium, Leicester
Kick-off: 12:00 local (11:00 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Jerome Garces (France), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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