Julian Montoya captains experienced Los Pumas team against All Blacks

Jared Wright
Argentina's Julian Montoya, injured in a scrum, stands on the pitch during a rugby championship match against Australia, in Mendoza

Los Pumas captain Julian Montoya.

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika has named his matchday squad that will face New Zealand in their Rugby Championship opener in Mendoza.

Julian Montoya will captain the side in his 85th Test cap, while scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou becomes the 43rd player to represent Los Pumas 50 times.

Premiership influence

As he has done in every Test match under Cheika, Emiliano Boffelli starts in the back three, this time at full-back, with Clermont’s Bautista Delguy on the right wing and Newcastle’s Mateo Carreras on the left.

There is more Premiership representation in the centres, with Saracens-bound Lucio Cinti at inside centre and Newcastle’s Matias Moroni at outside centre.

Santiago Carreras starts at fly-half for Los Pumas on Saturday, with Bertranou his half-back partner.

Argentina are without star back-rower Marcos Kremer, who is serving a suspension, and with Facundo Isa also rested, Cheika has named a starting back-row of Rodrigo Bruni at number eight, the excellent Juan Martin Gonzalez at number seven and the abrasive Pablo Matera on the blindside.

Guido Petti also misses the encounter with the All Blacks, which means Matias Alemanno and Tomas Lavanini will pack down in the second-row. Fellow lock Pedro Rubiolo is set to earn just his second Test cap from the bench.

Montoya is joined in the front-row by rising star loosehead prop Thomas Gallo and tighthead Lucio Sordoni.

Sordoni returns to the Pumas starting line-up after 14 months on the sidelines due to a series of injuries.

Cheika has named Argentina’s two most capped players of all time on his bench for the Rugby Championship opener as Agustin Creevy (97 Test caps) provides cover for captain Montoya at hooker, and Nicolas Sanchez (95) covers for fly-half Carreras.

Mayco Vivas and Eduardo Bello are the replacement props, with Rubiolo covering lock and Santiago Grondona the back-row.

Lautaro Bazan Velez and Matias Orlando add further options off the bench in the backline. 

Los Pumas team to face the All Blacks

Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Lucio Cinti, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Lucio Sordoni, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Pedro Rubiolo, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Matias Orlando 

Date: Saturday, July 8
Venue: Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Kick off: 16:10 local (20:10 BST, 19:10 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)

READ MORE: Five storylines to follow ahead of the Rugby Championship clash between Argentina and New Zealand