ARGENTINA coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to his team to take on Scotland on Saturday compared to the one that began last week’s 20-13 defeat by Wales – two in the back line and two up front.
In the front row, Julian Montoya takes over at hooker and as captain from Agustin Creevy, while Eduardo Bello is at tighthead prop instead of Francisco Gomez Kodela. Bautista Delguy is on the right wing in place of Mateo Carreras, and Matias Orlando is at outside centre, replacing Matias Moroni.
More importantly from a Scottish point of view, however, Emiliano Boffelli continues on the left wing. The Edinburgh player chipped in eight points in Cardiff – a modest haul by his standards, especially compared to the 25 he managed in the 30-29 victory over England a week earlier. But he is sure to be a marked man all the same as he comes up against some of his club-mates.
This will be the last international of the year for both teams, but Cheika believes his squad are in a good state of repair, and does not see himself needing to coax one last effort out of them. “I don’t think it’s a last push at all,” he said after the Pumas announced their matchday 23.
“The boys are playing in the middle of their season, most of them. We’ve obviously got a different calendar because our players play northern-hemisphere club rugby and then in the southern-hemisphere international programme, but I feel like we’re managing that well in the way we’ve prepared our training. The guys are full of energy.
“I don’t see it like a final push. This is a big part of our season and then they’ll move on to different parts of their own season afterwards. If anything, I feel there’s been an increase in intensity this week rather than any final pushes.”
Argentina (v Scotland at BT Murrayfield, Saturday 3.15pm): J Mallia; B Delguy, M Orlando, J de la Fuente, E Boffelli; S Carreras, G Bertranou; T Gallo, J Montoya (captain), E Bello, M Alemanno, T Lavanini, J Gonzalez, M Kremer, P Matera. Substitutes: I Ruiz, N Tetaz Chaparro, S Medrano, L Paulos, F Isa, L Bazan Velez, N Sanchez, M Moroni.