Argentina boss Michael Cheika makes one alteration for Rugby World Cup semi-final against All Blacks

Colin Newboult
Scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou in action for Argentina against Japan during the Rugby World Cup.

Scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou in action for Argentina against Japan during the Rugby World Cup.

Michael Cheika has largely kept faith with the Argentina side that beat Wales for their encounter against New Zealand in Paris on Friday.

The head coach has changed just one of his 23, with Gonzalo Bertranou coming into the XV and Tomas Cubelli dropping out of the squad.

Cubelli started ahead of Bertranou, who has usually been first choice, for their 29-17 triumph over Wales in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final, but Cheika has reversed that for the game with the All Blacks.

With Lautaro Bazan Velez the preferred impact player off the bench, it means Cubelli misses out completely.

Otherwise unchanged

That is the only alteration from the 56-year-old, with Juan Cruz Mallia, Emiliano Boffelli and Mateo Carreras once again the back three.

Santiago Chocobares and Lucio Cinti bring both pace and power at centre, while Santiago Carreras joins Bertranou at half-back, looking to display creativity and control in the fly-half position.

Cheika has therefore resisted the temptation to start Nicolas Sanchez, who scored the decisive try for Los Pumas in the win over Wales.

Up front, Facundo Isa continues in the absence of Pablo Matera, lining up at number eight alongside flankers Marcos Kremer and Juan Martin Gonzalez in the back-row.

Tomas Lavanini and Guido Petti are ahead of that loose trio at lock having formed an impressive second-row unit during the global tournament.

Finally, the front-row sees props Thomas Gallo and Francisco Gomez Kodela either side of hooker and captain Julian Montoya.

Meanwhile, on the bench, Cheika was happy with the impact they provided last weekend, which means Agustin Creevy, Joel Sclavi, Eduardo Bello, Matias Alemanno and Rodrigo Bruni cover the forwards, with Velez, Sanchez and Matias Moroni the backline replacements.

Los Pumas side to face the All Blacks

Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julián Montoya (c), 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Joel Sclavi, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Matías Moroni

Date: Friday, October 20
Venue: Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

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