Argentina v Wales in Cardiff (World Cup Warm-up)
Venue: Millennium Stadium,
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
This will be one of the more interesting rugby test matches to be played in the Northern Hemisphere on Saturday. Argentina will be out to prove they will again be a force to be reckoned with after they finished 3rd in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. And who better to prove that point against? Why Wales, who defeated England last weekend.
These two sides played a World Cup warm-up test just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Wales won that test 27-20 but Argentina went on to have a most successful tournament.
Argentina has named a strong lineup to take on the Welsh. Their previous games were by their second and third string players who shared a series against a French Barbarian side and then a one of international against a South American side. This will be a test for the Pumas who really haven’t had a lot of practice time together.
The Pumas did not fare at all well in their tour of Europe last Autumn, defeating Italy but losing to France narrowly but then heavily (9-29) against Ireland. There are now a number of veteran players in the side and some old legs might be catching up with this side.
Argentina will play their final World Cup Warm-up match against Worcester Warriors next Tuesday.
Wales staff replaced selected captain Ryan Jones from their starting lineup after a niggling injury forced the issue. Jone’s place will be taken by Andy Powell with Jonathan Thomas moving onto the bench.
Martyn Williams will play his 99th test for Wales in what will probably be his last on Welsh soil. He has been given the honour of the captaincy following Jone’s withdrawl. It will be the 35 year old’s last chance to impress the Welsh selectors for inclusion in their World Cup squad. Like all the other teams Wales has seen fit to make changes from their last outing and give players a last chance to impress.
Last Five Encounters
21.11.2009 Wales 33-16 in Cardiff
18.08.2007 Wales 27-20 in Cardiff
17.06.2006 Argentina 45-27 in Buenos Aires
11.06.2006 Argentina 27-25 in Puerto Madryn
19.06.2004 Wales 35-20 in Buenos Aires
Argentina defeated Wales in Cardiff last in 2001, winning 30-16.
Last Five Wales
13.08.2011 v England W 19-9 in Cardiff (World Cup warm-up)
06.08.2011 v England L 19-23 at Twickenham (World Cup Warm-up)
19.03.2011 v France L 9-28 in Paris (6 Nations)
12.03.2011 v Ireland W 19-13 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
26.02.2011 v Italy W 24-16 in Rome (6 Nations)
Last Five Argentina
06.08.2011 v South America XV (non-test) W 78-15 in San Juan
10.06.2011 v French Barbarians (non-test) L 18-21 in Buenos Aires
04.06.2011 v French Barbarians (non-test) W 23-19 in Buenos Aires
29.11.2010 v Ireland L 9-29 in Dublin
20.11.2010 v France L 9-15 in Montpellier
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Wales 7th, Argentina 11th
IRB Ranking Points
Wales 80.22, Argentina 78.97
Prediction: Argentina need more match practice. Wales by 10 points
15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Felipe Contepomi, Capt. 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Martin Scelzo, 18 Mariano Galarza, 19 Alejandro Campos, 20 Alfredo Lalanne, 21 Nicolas Sanchez, 22 Juan Imhoff
Head Coach: Santiago Phelan
15 Lee Byrne, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 James Roberts, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 James Hook, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Andrew Powell 7 Martyn Williams,
Capt. 6 Daniel Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
16 Huw Bennett, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Jonathan Thomas, 19 Justin Tipuric, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Aled Brew.
Head Coach: Warren Gatland