September 26, 2019 / 8:50 AM / 2 months ago

Argentina drop experienced duo for must-win Tonga clash

OSAKA (Reuters) - Argentina have dropped the experienced pair of flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez and hooker Agustin Creevy from their run-on side for the must-win Rugby World Cup Pool C clash with Tonga at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby Championship - New Zealand vs Argentina - Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand - September 8, 2018 - Argentina's Agustin Creevy runs away from New Zealand's Codie Taylor. REUTERS/Ross Setford

They are two of four changes made by coach Mario Ledesma from the side defeated by France in their opener, with loose-forward Javier Ortega Desio also among the replacements, and wing Ramiro Moyano out of the match-day 23 altogether.

They have been replaced hooker by Julian Montoya, number eight Tomas Lezana, fly-half Ben Urdapilleta and wing Santiago Carreras.

For Urdapilleta, tasked with controlling the game from the number 10 position, it is a first Argentina start since 2013 following his return to the squad this year.

Lezana says they must target a better start than against the French, where they found themselves 14-3 down by midway through the first half and ended up losing 23-21.

“We have been going over the first few minutes against France,” he told reporters in Osaka on Thursday. “We cannot have a repeat of that bad first half and we are focusing especially on defence. Our focus was not consistent and we also lacked in attitude. We thought we would start differently.

“We must look to impose our game from the get-go and when we defend, dominate them immediately.”

Lezana said there would be no change in approach to the game from Argentina though.

“No. Our system doesn’t change. It’s the same against any opponent because it’s effective when we do it well. We have to be aggressive and dominate them, because they are strong.”

Argentina have now lost their last 10 test in a row.

Tonga also suffered a 35-3 defeat to England in their opener, meaning the loser of this encounter will see their quarter-final hopes evaporate.

Team:

15-Emiliano Boffelli, 14-Matías Moroni, 13-Matias Orlando, 12-Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11-Santiago Carreras, 10-Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9-Tomas Cubelli, 8-Tomas Lezana, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Pablo Matera (captain), 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Guido Petti, 3-Juan Figallo, 2-Julian Montoya, 1-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Replacements: 16-Agustin Creevy, 17-Mayco Vivas, 18-Santiago Medrano, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Javier Ortega Desio, 21-Felipe Ezcurra, 22-Nicolas Sanchez, 23-Bautista Delguy.

Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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