All Blacks tinker with forward pack as Pumas make ten changes for Tri Nations clash
The All Blacks are out for redemption against Argentina on Saturday night in Newcastle following their shock Tri Nations loss to the Pumas earlier this month.
Playing their final Test of the series before returning home to New Zealand, the All Blacks have made three changes to the starting side which crashed to a 25-15 defeat – their first ever against Argentina.
It also came a week after the Kiwis were beaten 24-22 by the Wallabies in Brisbane in rare back-to-back defeats.
Prop Nepo Laulala replaces Tyrel Lomax in the starting side while Scott Barrett will partner Sam Whitelock in the second row, relegating Patrick Tuipulotu to the bench.
Akira Ioane will start in the No.6 jersey ahead of Shannon Frizell after his Test debut against Australia in Brisbane was cut short after a teammate’s red card forced a pack reshuffle.
Foster opted to give the bulk of the line-up from the loss a chance to redeem themselves, while they also have a chance to claim the Tri Nations with all teams on six points.
“We’ve had a great week building into what will be a vital Test for us,” he said.
“It’s exciting in the sense that we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves after our last game, and we also have the opportunity to win the Tri Nations.”
Los Pumas, meanwhile, have made a massive ten changes to their starting XV for the crucial clash.
Mayco Vivas and Santiago Medrano have come into the front row, Lucas Paulos is Guido Petti’s new partner at lock, and Facundo Isa joins Pablo Matera and Marcos Kremer in the loose trio.
In the backline, Felipe Ezcurra comes into scrumhalf, while his halves partner Nicolas Sanchez is the only back to keep his place in the side. Santiago Cordero, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Juan Cruz Mallia, Ramiro Moyano and Emiliano Boffelli make up the rest of the run-on team.
Mayco Vivas, Julian Montoya, Santiago Medrano, Guido Petti, Lucas Paulos, Pablo Matera (c), Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa, Felipe Ezcurra, Nicolas Sanchez, Santiago Cordero, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Juan Cruz Mallia, Ramiro Moyano, Emiliano Boffelli
Bench: Santiago Socino, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Lucio Sordoni, Matias Alemanno, Santiago Grondona, Gonzalo Bertranou, Santiago Carreras, Lucas Mensa
New Zealand (1-15)
Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Akira Ioane, Sam Cane (c), Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Caleb Clarke, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett
Bench: Codie Taylor, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Tyrel Lomax, Patrick Tuipulotu, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan
With staff writers
Source: Rugby – Roar