August 15, 2019 / 12:52 PM / 2 months ago

Argentina ring changes v Springboks in bid to end losing streak

FILE PHOTO - Rugby Union - Argentina Captain's Run - Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, France - November 16, 2018 Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma during the captain's run REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has rung the changes for the one-off test with South Africa at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, seeking to find the right formula to halt an eight-game losing streak just a month out from the World Cup in Japan.

Argentina ended their Rugby Championship campaign with a humbling 46-13 loss to the Springboks in Salta last weekend and Ledesma has reacted by dropping a string of established players.

Prop Mayco Vivas will earn a first cap, while Felipe Ezcurra will make just his third international appearance in the scrumhalf berth, with the equally inexperienced Joaquin Diaz Bonilla alongside him at flyhalf.

There is also a first cap for inside centre Lucas Mensa, which sees Jeronimo de la Fuente switch to the number 13 jersey, while fullback Santiago Carreras could debut off the bench.

Two positional changes see Javier Ortega Desio move from flank to number eight, with his position on the side of the scrum taken by Marcos Kremer, who started at lock last weekend.

There is an all-new pairing in the second row with Tomas Lavanini and Guido Petti, while Julian Montoya takes over from the vastly experienced Agustin Creevy at hooker. Flanker Pablo Matera will lead the side in Pretoria, one of only five players who keep their place in the team.

Team: 15-Joaquin Tuculet, 14-Sebastian Cancelliere, 13-Jeronimo de la Fuente, 12-Lucas Mensa, 11-Ramiro Moyano, 10-Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9-Felipe Ezcurra, 8-Javier Ortega Desio, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Pablo Matera (captain), 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Guido Petti, 3-Santiago Medrano, 2-Julian Montoya, 1-Mayco Vivas

Replacements: 16-Agustin Creevy, 17-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18-Juan Figallo, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Tomas Lezana, 21-Gonzalo Bertanou, 22-Ben Urdapilleta, 23-Santiago Carreras.

Reporting By Nick Said; editing by Tony Lawrence

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