All you need to know about the second Test between Argentina and Wales in Santa Fe
Argentina v Wales Preview for Match Two
Having beaten the Pumas in Argentina for the first time since 2004, Wales are now looking to secure only their second Test series victory on Argentinian soil and their first in nearly 20 years.
Wales won both Tests in 1999 and will be looking to repeat the feat as they continue to build for next year’s Rugby World Cup. Having rested several senior players for this tour, a series win – on top of the victory over South Africa in Washington – would be an impressive return for Warren Gatland.
In contrast, the pressure is continuing to mount on Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade. Last weekend’s 23-10 defeat by Wales was a 14th loss in 16 Tests for Argentina, with their only victories in 2017 coming over Georgia and Italy.
The Pumas have experienced a drop in form since reaching the quarter-finals of the last World Cup and more was expected in this series given how well the Sunwolves have been performing in Super Rugby, so they will be desperate for a better result in Santa Fe.
Here’s what you need to know about the match…
What’s the big team news?
Wales have made five changes to the team that won last Saturday. In the back-line, Owen Watkin comes in for the injured Hadleigh Parkes while Aled Davies starts at scrum-half. In the pack, Ryan Elias and Tomas Francis are picked in the front row and Ellis Jenkins is selected at blindside.
Cory Hill retains the captaincy, with Jenkins charged with focusing on a new role at No 6. He and James Davies, both traditionally opensides, will be looking to form a similarly successful partnership to that which Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric achieved last year.
As for Argentina, they have made just one change with Martin Landajo, who will win his 80th cap, replacing Gonzalo Bertranou at scrum-half. The hope is that the experienced nine can manage the game better and get Argentina performing more accurately and effectively than last week.
What have the coaches said?
Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade: “We are going to see a team with much attitude and fire with the desire to change the image that we left in San Juan.
“The key thing is to change the attitude. We must put into operation the game plan that the past week we did not manage to do.”
Wales head coach Warren Gatland: “Looking at the objectives of this tour, we are right on track, we have won two games from two but more importantly we have exposed players to Test rugby.
“We want to go home three from three but we know the challenge that we are up against this weekend and we also are looking at the bigger picture. We might have picked a slightly different team if it was just about results but it is about more than that, it is about building for 2019.”
Any interesting statistics?
- Warren Gatland has picked a different scrum-half for all three Tests on this tour, with Aled Davies getting the nod at No 9 this week after Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies started the previous games. It’s a position where Wales need to build depth with Rhys Webb now unavailable following his move to Toulon.
- Martin Landajo will become only the sixth Argentina player to win 80 caps and could overtake Felipe Contepomi’s Pumas record of 87 Test appearances later this year.
- Ellis Jenkins was Man of the Match against South Africa while James Davies picked up that gong last week against the Pumas.
- Argentina lost 35-25 to England in Santa Fe last year but have beaten Italy (30-24 in 2016) and Ireland (22-20 in 2007) there.
When does it kick off and is it on TV?
The match is being played at Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez Stadium in Santa Fe, which is north-west of Buenos Aires. It kicks off at 8.40pm UK time on Saturday night and you can watch the game live on Channel 4.
South African Jaco Peyper is in charge of this Test, with Andrew Brace and Mathieu Raynal his assistants.
What are the line-ups?
ARGENTINA: Emiliano Boffelli; Bautista Delguy, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Santiago Garcia Botta, Agustin Creevey (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Guido Petti, Tomas Lavanini, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Javier Ortega Desio.
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Javier Diaz, Santiago Medrano, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Gonzalo Bertranou, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Sebastien Cancelliere.
WALES: Hallam Amos; Josh Adams, Scott Williams, Owen Watkin, George North; Rhys Patchell, Aled Davies; Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Cory Hill (captain), Ellis Jenkins, James Davies, Ross Moriarty.
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Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Bradley Davies, Josh Turnbull, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Tom Prydie.
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