Italy to face Pumas gameplan that beat France

Veteran Argentinian hooker Mario Ledesma said on Tuesday he was really looking forward to Saturday’s rugby union test with Italy in Verona which he termed ‘a veritable derby’.

The 37-year-old – capped 76 times and who was an integral member of the Pumas side that finished third at the 2007 World Cup – added he was hoping that the Argentines would be able to repeat the level of performance which saw them thrash Six Nations Grand Slam champions France 41-13 in Buenos Aries in June.

“Saturday’s match will be a special one, an authentic derby,” said Ledesma, who last season won the French Top 14 title with Clermont ending their title drought.

“Italy will line-up with several Argentina-born players (such as captain Sergio Parisse) while a lot of our guys have Italian names (Felipe Contepomi among others).

“It will never be a match like the others: all the tests against the Azzuris are difficult, Italy is always a hard as nails opponent.

“We are hoping we will play the style of game which saw us beat France in June, the Six Nations Grand Slam winners.”

Argentina will also play France on November 20 in Montpellier and Ireland on November 28 in Dublin.

Argentina (15-1)

Martin Rodriguez; Gonzalo Camacho, Gonzalo Tiesi, Santiago Fernandez, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino; Felipe Contepomi (capt), Nicolas Vergallo; Miguel De Achaval, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Genaro Fessia; Mariano Galarza, Manuel Carizza; Martin Scelzo, Mario Ledesma, Rodrigo Roncero

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