SAN JUAN, Argentina (Reuters) - Argentina have made four changes to their team to take on Australia in their second Rugby Championship clash on Saturday after losing the first last weekend as the Wallabies stormed back late in the game.
Argentina coach Michael Cheika made three backline switches and brought in Thomas Gallo for Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro at loosehead in the front of the scrum for the test at San Juan.
Gonzalo Bertranou replaces Tomas Cubelli at scrumhalf as Cheika sought to reprise the winning combination with Santiago Carreras at halfback from last month’s 2-1 test series success over Scotland.
Matias Moroni will replace Matias Orlando at centre and there is a switch on the wings as Emiliano Boffelli moves to the right in place of Santiago Cordero, to allow Juan Imhoff to play on the left.
“We’ve tried to give everyone a chance in training in the week to show who, within the strategy for the game on Saturday, is ready for the game. Some have earned the opportunity from training and with others it might be a little bit tactical,” Cheika told a news conference on Thursday.
“For example, Bertranou was very sharp in training with a good understanding of the tactics. It’s a strong combination we have at halfback and he wins his pace to show what he can do on match day.”
Cheika said Argentina would be looking to improve on multiple fronts in their second meeting with the Wallabies in a week.
“It’s about improving all things, in the scrum, maul, line outs and rucks so that we can be competitive in every game,” he added.
15-Juan Cruz Mallia, 14-Emiliano Boffelli 13-Matias Moroni, 12-Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11-Juan Imhoff, 10-Santiago Carreras, 9-Gonzalo Bertranou, 8-Pablo Matera, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Matias Alemanno, 3-Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2-Julian Montoya (capt.), 1-Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16-Agustin Creevy, 17-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18-Joel Sclavi, 19-Facundo Isa, 20-Rodrigo Bruni, 21-Tomas Cubeli, 22-Tomas Albornoz, 23-Lucio Cinti.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; editing by Jason Neely)