LONDON (Reuters) - A quartet of young Pumas will be hoping the experience of a second-string victory over Tonga six months ago will help Argentina win their Rugby World Cup Pool C clash in Leicester on Sunday.
Four players named in coach Daniel Hourcade’s team, whose quarter-final hopes hang on a victory, helped the Pampas XV beat Tonga A in the Pacific Challenge tournament in Australia in March.
Seven changes including a first tournament appearance for centre Matias Moroni have made it the youngest Argentina team at an average age of 26 years and 236 days since the 1999 quarter-final against France.
Winger Santiago Cordero, who scored two tries in Argentina’s 54-9 demolition of Georgia, Moroni and replacements Nahuel Noguera and Matias Alemanno earned their World Cup selection on the back of their exploits with the Pampas who won the Pacific Challenge trophy.
Hourcade’s changes from the Georgia match include a new centre pairing in Jeronimo de la Fuente and Moroni.
They come in for the injured Juan Martin Hernandez and Marcelo Bosch, who is rested and not even among the replacements.
The other change in the backs is Martin Landajo, another try scorer as a replacement against Georgia, in for Tomas Cubelli. The pair have been sharing the number nine duties since Hourcade took over in 2013.
In the pack, Ramiro Herrera comes into the front row for Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and lock Guido Petti, injured scoring a try in Argentina’s 26-16 defeat by holders New Zealand on the opening weekend, replaced Alemanno, who drops to the bench.
Number eight Leonardo Senatore and blindside flanker Pablo Matera return to the back row in place of Facundo Isa and Juan Manuel Leguizamon.
Team: 1-Marcos Ayerza, 2-Agustin Creevy (captain), 3-Ramiro Herrera, 4-Guido Petti, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 6-Pablo Matera, 7-Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 8-Leonardo Senatore; 9-Martin Landajo, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 11-Juan Imhoff, 12-Jeronimo de la Fuente, 13-Matias Moroni, 14-Santiago Cordero, 15-Joaquin Tuculet
Replacements: 16-Julian Montoya, 17-Lucas Noguera, 18-Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21-Tomas Cubelli, 22-Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23-Horacio Agulla
Editing by Ed Osmond