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Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK


Pumas drop Martin for Wales clash

Martin tackles Budge Poutney during a friendly against Scotland

Veteran flanker Rolando Martin has been dropped from the Pumas side to face Wales in Friday's World Cup opener at the Millennium Stadium.

Martin, who spent time with English club Richmond, has 49 caps for his country but has only been granted a place on the bench by coach Alex Wyllie.

Captain Lisandro Arbizu has overcome a leg infection which delayed his arrival in Cardiff and will lead the side against the tournament hosts.

The Brive centre trained yesterday after completing a course of antibiotics.


[ image: Arbizu: Leg infection now cured]
Arbizu: Leg infection now cured
His side contains three English Premiership players - Bristol pair Agustin Pichot and Eduardo Simone, plus Saracens prop Roberto Grau.

There are nine survivors from the second Test line-up beaten by Wales in Argentinia in June, including former captain Pedro Sporleder.

Sporleder and hooker Mario Ledesma, who also plays on Friday, were only cleared to play after suspensions for verbally abusing a referee were partially lifted.

Diego Albanese will play at left wing rather than his other Test position of full-back, while volatile Castres tighthead Mauricio Reggiardo joins Grau and Ledesma in the Pumas renowned front row.

Wales prop Peter Rogers, a key component in Wales' Test victories, is expecting another tough, intimidating battle in the scrum

Power play

"People are talking about Argentina possibly adopting a more expansive approach on Friday, and we might see flashes of that, but they love their power game," he said.

"I don't think they will move too far away from their traditional strengths. They have one of the best scrummaging units in world rugby, and I think they will be out to get us this time.

"But we competed well during the Tests in Buenos Aires, and have continued to work hard on our power game. When you do well up front, it gives the rest of the team a boost.

"To be honest, I don't care what type of game it is on Friday, as long as we win. We will take in the emotion of the occasion when we run out - you're not human if you don't feel it - but then we will switch on and get on with the job."

Argentina have lost all three meetings between the sides in the last 12 months.



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Rugby World Cup 1999
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