Argentina name Pumas team for England

Argentina are set to give England’s front row a thorough workout at Twickenham on Saturday in the opening Test of their tour of Britain.


France-based trio Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma and Martin Scelzo form one of the most powerful scrummaging units in world rugby.


But, behind the pack, the team announced by coach Santiago Phelan on Wednesday will be without injured playmakers Juan Martin Hernandez and the experienced Felipe Contepomi.


Both backs are set to miss the whole of the Pumas’ tour with fly-half and goalkicker Hernandez out with a back problem while Contepomi has been sidelined since May after tearing knee ligaments for European champions Leinster.


And Argentina will also have to do without injured wing Lucas Amorosino, who scored a superb try for English title-holders Leicester in last week’s defeat of world champions South Africa, and Harlequins’ Gonzalo Camacho.


In all there are seven changes from the Argentina team that beat England 24-22 in Salta in June.


However, the pack features several players well-known to England including Argentina captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, the former Sale back-row who is now a team-mate of Jonny Wilkinson at French club Toulon.


Elsewhere, London Irish scrum-half Alfredo Lalanne starts opposite his club-mate Paul Hodgson, called up for his first Test start by England manager Martin Johnson earlier on Wednesday.


Argentina’s tour also features Tests against Wales and Scotland.



Argentina (15-1)


Horacio Agulla; Lucas Borges, Gonzalo Tiesi, Martin Rodriguez, Mauro Comuzzi; Santiago Fernandez, Alfredo Lalanne; Juan Fernandez Lobbe (capt), Alejandro Abadie, Tomas Leonardi; Patricio Albacete, Esteban Lozada; Martin Scelzo, Mario Ledesma, Rodrigo Roncero


Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Marcos Ayerza, Manuel Carizza, Alejandro Campos, Agustin Figuerola, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Federico Martin Aramburu

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