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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Pumas make two changes for Wales

Autumn internationals - Wales v Argentina
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 21 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT
Coverage: Exclusively live on BBC ONE Wales and online, full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and online, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live

Argentina ready for Wales challenge

Second-row Mariano Sambucetti and scrum-half Agustin Figuerola are the only two changes to the Argentina team to face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

Sambucetti comes into the boiler room for Esteban Lozada.

Figuerola, who won his third cap as a replacement in the 16-9 loss to England at Twickenham last Saturday, is preferred to Alfredo Lalanne.

The scrum-half is from Buenos Aires side CASI, the club that launched the career of ex-Pumas nine Agustin Pichot.

Figuerola has been seen as the long-term successor to former Argentina captain Pichot and as a man who plays in a similar, livewire, creative style.


Pichot, who led the Pumas to third place at the 2007 World Cup, retired from internationals in 2008 and from rugby earlier this year.

Bristol's Sambucetti, recalled to the tour squad after a four-year absence, last played for Argentina against Italy in 2005.

He played for the second-string Jaguars in this year's Churchill Cup.

The visitors are without star back duo Juan Martin Hernandez and Felipe Contepomi, who missed the tour because of injury.

"Before coming on tour, we decided to play some players who perhaps did not have too much experience of international rugby," said Argentina coach Santiago Phelan.

"We are not changing players because of performance. It is about what we think is best for this game against Wales.

"We think Wales will be very tough opponents - they are an excellent team that plays a very dynamic game.

"We saw them play New Zealand and Samoa recently, and also in the Six Nations this year.

Lobbe backs 'world's best' front row

"They are a good team that has played together a lot."

Captain Juan Fernandez Lobbe fully expects Wales to test the Pumas' defence.

"I imagine Wales may counter-attack a little bit more than England," he said.

"Of what we have seen of them, they like to bring the ball back with their hands, and we have prepared ourselves to try to defend that.

"I believe England, at the moment, are under a lot of pressure from the whole country, so it is not easy for the players just to go out and play.

"What they needed [last Saturday] was to go out there and get a win.

"It is always very important to end up after the 80 minutes winning, and that is what they did.

"Wales will also want that, but they have been playing some good rugby for the last 18 months or so and have been together as a squad, so they feel maybe a little more confident.

"We need to be ready for whatever Wales throw at us, and we need to focus on them now. It's going to be a massive task, really difficult."

Argentina: Horacio Agulla (Brive); Lucas Borges (Albi), Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequins), Martin Rodriguez (Rosario), Mauro Comuzzi (Pucara); Santiago Fernandez (Hindu), Agustin Figuerola (CASI); Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Francais), Mario Ledesma (Clermont Auvergne), Martin Scelzo (Clermont Auvergne), Mariano Sambucetti (Bristol), Patricio Albacete (Toulouse), Tomas Leonardi (San Isidro), Alejandro Abadie (Rovigo), Juan Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon, capt).
Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Toulouse), Marcos Ayerza (Leicester), Manuel Carizza (Biarritz), Alejandro Campos (Montauban), Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish), Benjamin Urdapilleta (CUBA), Horacio San Martin (Tala).


Albacete gets a taste of Wales

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see also
Wales v Argentina scrum war brews
20 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Cooper admits scrum-half pressure
18 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Davies told to fill creative gap
18 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wales 33-16 Argentina
21 Nov 09 |  Welsh
England 16-9 Argentina
14 Nov 09 |  English
Wales 17-13 Samoa
13 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wales 12-19 New Zealand
07 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Puma power: Argentinian rugby
16 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales v Argentina: Full record
28 Sep 06 |  Rugby Union
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Wales v Argentina - Preview - 48 mins ago
Teletext Two changes for Pumas - 42 hrs ago
Reuters UK Figuerola and Sambucetti in Argentina team to face Wales - 44 hrs ago
Sky Sports Pumas ready for 'tough' Wales - 45 hrs ago
Yahoo! News Australia Figuerola and Sambucetti in Argentina team to face Wales (Reuters) - 47 hrs ago


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