Pumas to target ABs’ scrum – Ayerza

Date published: July 13 2015

Argentina will try to dominate New Zealand in the scrums when the sides face each other in their Rugby Championship opener on Friday.

That was the word from los Pumas prop Marcos Ayerza who said Argentina "pride ourselves on the scrum".

The 32-year-old made little secret of his side's plans and said Argentina's pack are confident of gaining the upper hand at the set-piece.

"We feel we can be dominant there," he told Fairfax Media.

"But the All Blacks are always tough in every area of the game and their scrum is one area that's very tough. Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Dane Coles are all very experienced, tough players in their position.

"I think the All Black scrum is very good. It will be a great test for ourselves to see how we are going. We will try to have a good contest there and build our game from there."

Ayerza, who plies his trade with Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership, said los Pumas are excited to be playing in Christchurch.

"We were going to be based in Christchurch during the last World Cup [in 2011]," added the 32-year-old before explaining that the earthquake in Christchurch that year scuppered those plans.

"The earthquake was devastating news for everyone in the rugby world to hear about. To, four years later, come over and have a chance to play in Christchurch is special."

Ayerza said Argentina is relishing the chance to face the All Blacks and were happy to be part of the Rugby Championship. He admitted, however, that that the World Cup is the main priority in 2015.

"The World Cup happens only every four years and for each rugby player it's an historic moment in his career," he said.

"We know we are playing the All Blacks in the first game of the World Cup. It will be interesting to see how much both teams will open their game-plan [on Friday]."