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The Pumas will make their Tri Nations debut today when they take on the All Blacks in Sydney. Join The Roar for live scores of the game from 5:10pm (AEDT).
After months variously quarantining, traveling, quarantining again, training and living in a COVID-safe bubble, Argentina will finally make it out onto the paddock for a game of Test rugby for the first time in more than a year.
Their last Test came some 13 months ago when they hosed the USA at last year’s World Cup – needless to say today will be a much, much tougher ask.
The All Blacks are smarting after last week’s loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane and have reverted to what looks to be Ian Foster’s first-choice XV. Richie Mo’unga takes the number ten jersey back, pushing Beauden Barrett to fullback and his brother Jordie onto the wing.
Caleb Clarke returns on the other wing, Jack Goodhue is back in the centres, and Aaron Smith has reclaimed the number nine jersey.
There are changes in the forwards, too, with all of Joe Moody, Patrick Tuipulotu and Shannon Frizell back in the side.
For Los Pumas to take on a side that strong with only two warm-up games against Australia A under their belts is a huge test, even if they did win both of those matches.
However, there’s still some class about the side. Pablo Matera will captain the side from the back row, and the experienced Tomas Cubelli and Nicolas Sanchez are the halves.
Kick-off: 5:10pm (AEDT)
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Betting: New Zealand $1.05, Argentina $11
1. Joe Moody, 2. Dane Coles, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Sam Cane (c), 8. Ardie Savea, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Caleb Clarke, 12. Jack Goodhue, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Jordie Barrett, 15. Beauden Barrett
Replacements: 16. Codie Taylor, 17. Alex Hodgman, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Tupou Vaa’i, 20. Hoskins Sotutu, 21. Brad Weber, 22. Rieko Ioane, 23. Damian McKenzie
1. Tetaz, 2. Julian Montoya, 3. Francisco Gómez-Kodela, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Matias Alemanno, 6. Pablo Matera (c), 7. Marcos Kremer, 8. Rodrigo Bruni, 9. Tomas Cubelli, 10. Nicolas Sánchez, 11. Juan Imhoff, 12. Santiago Chocobares, 13. Matias Orlando, 14. Bautista Delguy, 15. Santiago Carreras
Replacements: 16. Facundo Bosch, 17. Mayco Vivas, 18. Santiago Medrano, 19. Santiago Grondona, 20. Tomas Lezana, 21. Gonzalo Bertranou, 22. Lucio Cinti, 23. Santiago Cordero