Rugby-Injury-hit Argentina name Carreras at flyhalf for All Blacks test


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Premiership - Gloucester Rugby v Bristol Bears - Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester, Britain - February 12, 2021 Gloucester's Santiago Carreras celebrates after scoring their second try Action Images/John Sibley

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Santiago Carreras will play his first test at flyhalf against the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship on Saturday as Argentina coach Mario Ledesma wrestles with a lengthy injury list.

Nicolas Sanchez started at flyhalf in the 39-0 loss to New Zealand on the Gold Coast last week but limped off with an ankle injury with winger Emiliano Boffelli taking over as makeshift playmaker.

Carreras, who has played mainly in the back three for his country, missed the first All Blacks test with a lower leg injury but returns in the number 10 shirt with Domingo Miotti backing up from the bench.

Sanchez was one of five players injured in last week's match and only Facundo Gigena, who had a calf problem, will back up this week at Brisbane's Lang Park.

Winger Bautista Delguy, who tore his right hamstring, and centre Jeronimo de la Fuente, who tore an adductor, will play no further part in the competition and have been sent back to their clubs along with squad member Matias Orlando, who has a groin strain.

Number eight Rodrigo Bruni is struggling with a shoulder injury and has been replaced at the back of the scrum by former skipper Pablo Matera.

Youngster Juan Martin Gonzalez is elevated from the bench to make his first start as a stand-in for Matera at blindside flanker, while Tomas Lavanini comes back into the second row to partner Matias Alemanno.

Boffelli gets a start in his more familiar wing role, while Lucio Cinti and Santiago Chocobares will form a new centre partnership.

The Pumas, who beat the All Blacks for the first time last year, have lost all three of their Rugby Championship matches so far this year.

New Zealand coach Ian Foster earlier named a much-changed side for the match with Damian McKenzie getting his first test start at flyhalf for three years.

Team: 15-Juan Cruz Mallia, 14-Santiago Cordero, 13-Lucio Cinti, 12-Santiago Chocobares, 11-Emiliano Boffelli, 10-Santiago Carreras, 9-Gonzalo Bertranou, 8-Pablo Matera, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Matias Alemanno, 3-Santiago Medrano, 2-Julian Montoya, 1-Facundo Gigena

Replacements: 16-Santiago Socino, 17-Carlos Muzzio, 18-Enrique Pieretto, 19-Guido Petti, 20-Tomas Lezana, 21-Gonzalo Garcia, 22-Domingo Miotti, 23-Matias Moroni.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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