So, this is it. One last weekend of the rugby year, and what are the chances of us all being happy this time next week? Wouldn’t that be nice?!
Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has tweaked his forward pack and promoted a new halfback for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against Australia.
Ledesma has made three changes all up to the starting side that fell 46-24 to New Zealand last weekend.
One of them is forced with flanker Tomas Lezana ruled out due to a torn hamstring and replaced at No.6 by Pablo Matera.
Santiago Medrano will also start at prop with Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro moving from tighthead to loosehead.
Meanwhile, Gonzalo Bertranou will wear the No.9 jersey, bumping Martin Landajo to the bench and former Brumbies halfback Tomas Cubelli out of the squad altogether.
It’s otherwise as per last week for Los Pumas, who are seeking their first win on Australian soil in 35 years.
But they loom as a difficult challenge for the Wallabies given Ledesma’s intimate knowledge of Australian rugby and the strong sense of continuity within their ranks.
Just like last week, every member of the Argentinian starting side played for the Jaguares in Super Rugby under Ledesma, who ascended to the Test coaching job last month.
Saturday’s match will mark the first time Ledesma, the former Australian forwards coach, goes head-to-head with his former colleagues.
The banter has been flying both ways with Wallabies assistant Stephen Larkham and Ledesma – who remain close friends – taking playful pot-shots at each other about their coaching deficiencies.
ARGENTINA: Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo De La Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Gonzalo Bertranou, Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Santiago Medrano, Agustin Creevy (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Reserves: Julian Montoya, Santiago Garcia Botta, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Matias Alemanno, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Martin Landajo, Bautista Ezcurra, Juan Cruz Mallia.