France v Argentina in Buenos Aires
Venue: Stade Velez Sarsfield
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
The Grand Slam French side were slam dunked by South Africa two weeks ago. Northern reputations carry little weight when they tour down under. France certainly slipped heavily in that match but now has a redemption change against a side frequently their stumbling block of recent years.
Argentina has not been playing too well of recent themselves. They recently lost a home test series against Scotland. They just haven't recaptured that grand form of the team of 2007. This will be their last opportunity until the northern autumn tests to prove that they are potentially that 3rd best side in the world. Perhaps they have been saving their best for their favourite opponent France.
France has opted to rest a few of their seasoned players.
Last Five Encounters
08.11.2008 France 12-6 in Marseilles
19.10.2007 Argentina 34-10 in Paris (World Cup, Playoff 3rd-4th)
07.09.2007 Argentina 17-12 in Paris (World Cup, Pool D)
25.11.2006 France 27-26 in Paris
20.11.2004 Argentina 24-14 in Marseilles
France last played a test in Argentina in 2003. They actually played two tests as part of the start to the build up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup. France lost both tests, both played in BA, 6-10 and 31-32. France's record against Argentina reads a grim adventure for the French. Who can forget that historic 17-12 win by Argentina in pool play during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and then the even more famous walloping they gave France in the 3rd-4th playoff.
France last won in Buenos Aires way back in 1998.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-France 3rd, Argentina 6th
IRB Rankings-France 3rd (84.91), Argentina 9th (77.54)
Prediction: I'll punt for Argentina to add to France's misery. A win to the Pumas by 3 points.
Martín Rodríguez, Lucas González Amorosino, Gonzalo Tiesi, Santiago Fernández, Rafael Carballom, Felipe Contepomi, Nicolás Vergallo, Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma, Martín Scelzo, Manuel Carizza, Patricio Albacete, Genaro Fessia, Alejandro Campos, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe
Replacements: Agustín Creevy, Marcos Ayerza, Juan Figallo, Mariano Galarza, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Agustín Figuerola, Horacio Agulla
Head Coach: Santiago Phelan
Jerome Porical, Vincent Clerc, Lionel Mazars, Florian Fritz, Julien Malzieu, Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra, Fabien Barcella, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Papé, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Louis Picamoles, Julien Bonnaire
Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Jean-Baptise Poux, Julien Pierre, Gregory Lamboley, Dimitri Yachvili, Maxime Mermoz, Clement Poitrenaud.
Head Coach: Marc Lievremont