Wednesday, December 6, 2023

SPORTS | 18-10-2023 13:54

Facundo Isa set for 50th Pumas cap in World Cup showdown with New Zealand

Head coach Michael Cheika makes just the one change to the starting XV from the one that surprised Wales in the quarter-finals: Gonzalo Bertranou replaces Tomás Cubelli at scrum-half.

Facundo Isa will win his 50th cap for Argentina in Friday's Rugby World Cup semi-final with three-time champions New Zealand.

The 30-year-old number eight is one of seven players in the matchday 23 to have played in the Pumas 2015 World Cup semi-final defeat to Australia.

Head coach Michael Cheika, who was in charge of Australia when they beat the Pumas in 2015, has made just the one change to the starting XV from the one that surprised Wales in the quarter-finals. 

The 56-year-old has selected Gonzalo Bertranou at scrum-half at the expense of Tomás Cubelli, who drops out of the 23 altogether.

Bertranou is one of six players in the 23 who featured in both Argentina's wins over New Zealand since the 2019 World Cup.

Argentina's captain in 2015 hooker Agustín Creevy at 38 years and 219 days will become the oldest player to appear in a World Cup semi-final if he comes on.

He will surpass South Africa's Victor Matfield who was 38 years and 166 days against the All Blacks in 2015.

Cheika's team will start as underdogs against an All Blacks side that posted a hugely impressive performance in beating Ireland 28-24 last Saturday.  


Argentina (15-1)

Juan Cruz Mallia; Emiliano Boffelli, Lucio Cinti, Santiago Chocobares, Mateo Carreras; Santiago Carreras, Gonzalo Bertranou; Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martín González; Tomás Lavanini, Guido Petti; Francisco Gómez Kodela, Julián Montoya (captain), Thomas Gallo

Replacements: Agustín Creevy, Joel Sclavi, Eduardo Bello, Matías Alemanno, Rodrigo Bruni, Lautaro Bazán Vélez, Nicolás Sánchez, Matías Moroni.

Coach: Michael Cheika (AUS)


New Zealand (15-1)

Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Mark Tele'a; Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell; Scott Barrett, Samuel Whitelock; Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Brodie Retallick, Dalton Papali'i, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown

Coach: Ian Foster (NZL)

related news


More in (in spanish)