Monday, December 4, 2023

SPORTS | 28-09-2023 15:15

Argentina coach Cheika backs veterans for Chile 'derby'

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika says his much-changed team to face Chile in the Rugby World Cup this weekend can prove him a point.

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika said on Thursday his much-changed team to face Chile in the Rugby World Cup this weekend can prove him a point.

Australian Cheika has made 11 changes from the victory over Samoa for Saturday's South American derby in Nantes.

Cheika has handed starts to the experienced five of hooker Agustín Creevy, number eight Facundo Isa, scrum-half Tomás Cubelli, fly-half Nicolás Sánchez and winger Juan Imhoff.

They are all aged 30 or older with centre Jerónimo de la Fuente, who turned 32 in February, captaining the side.

Cheika's Pumas need to beat Los Condores, the lowest ranked side in the competition, to keep their hopes of a place in the quarter-finals alive.

"This team deserves to play in the World Cup, they have the chance to show what they can do," Cheika told reporters.

"It's a good team to play a very important World Cup match," he added.

Creevy becomes just the second Argentina player to feature in 18 World Cup matches, after former Pumas head coach and hooker Mario Ledesma.

Disciplined game-manager Sánchez makes his 100th Test appearance, with Creevy the only other person to do so for the side, by standing in for creative playmaker Santiago Carreras.

"The selection of Nico Sánchez for his 100th cap is also very important for him," Cheika said.

"Of course, there are differences between Sánchez and Carreras because they are different types of players," he added.

Full-back Martin Bogada and winger Rodrio Isgro make their World Cup debuts on just their third Test appearances.

"Bogado, now that he has spent more time with us, is clearer about how we want him to play," Cheika said.

"Isgro had an incredible transition - just three months ago he was playing sevens, he is now playing in a World Cup on merit.

"We have a lot of players in their first World Cup, we haven't played much knock-out rugby. 

"Every day we experience these type of games we are more ready for the next," he added.

Argentina finish their group campaign against Japan on October 8, looking to make up after missing out on the knock-out stages four years ago.

Chile are making their first appearance at a World Cup but have conceded 156 points in their opening three Pool D games.


Team (15-1)

Martín Bogado; Rodrigo Isgro, Lucio Cinti, Jerónimo de la Fuente (captain), Juan Imhoff; Nicolás Sánchez, Tomás Cubelli; Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martín González; Pedro Rubiolo, Guido Petti; Eduardo Bello, Agustín Creevy, Joel Sclavi    

Replacements: Ignacio Ruiz, Mayco Vivas, Francisco Gómez Kodela, Matias Alemanno, Joaquín Oviedo, Lautaro Bazan Vélez, Santiago Carreras, Juan Cruz Mallia



related news


More in (in spanish)