Argentina: Julian Montoya returns to lead Pumas in Rugby Championship opener against Australia

Date published: August 4 2022 - Adam Kyriacou

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika has made a handful of changes to his starting team for their Rugby Championship opener against Australia.

On the back of a 2-1 series triumph over Scotland, the Pumas go into the southern hemisphere tournament with spirits high and know they must start well.

Chieka has tweaked his backline for this week’s fixture at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas against his home country, with right wing Santiago Cordero, centre Jeronimo De La Fuente and scrum-half Tomas Cubelli replacing Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni and Lautaro Bazan Velez respectively for the Wallabies clash.

Keen to build on Scotland win

Bazan Velez and Moroni have moved to bench duty while the remainder of the Pumas backline that started the third Test against Scotland remains in situ.

Up front there is a welcome return for captain Julian Montoya at hooker, who joins Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and Francisco Gomez Kodela in the front-row.

Matias Alemanno replaces Guido Petti at lock while Pablo Matera moves to number eight, with Marcos Kremer and Juan Martin Gonzalez flanking him.

The tweaks mean that Agustin Creevy is back amongst the forwards replacements, joining Mayvo Vivas, Joel Sclavi, Santiago Grondona and Rodrigo Bruni.

Joining Bazan Velez and Moroni as the backline options are Tomas Albornoz as Cheika’s men look to kick off the Rugby Championship with a home victory.

Many believe this Saturday is a perfect opportunity to do just that as the Wallabies are currently struggling with an injury crisis ahead of the Mendoza clash.

Wallabies injury problems

Samu Kerevi is ruled out for the rest of the year while Tom Banks, Izack Rodda, Izaia Perese and Cadeyrn Neville are some of the others on the sidelines.

Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayvo Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Santiago Grondona, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Matias Moroni

Date: Saturday, August 6
Venue: Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Kick-off: 16:10 local (20:10 BST, 19:10 GMT)
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson (England), Chris Busby (Ireland)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

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