They changed coaches in mid-year with Daniel Hourcade resigning after home losses to weakened Wales and Scotland sides and was replaced by former Pumas hooker Mario Ledesma.
Now the task of skippering the side has changed hands too with 25-year-old flanker Matera succeeding hooker Agustín Creevy.
"I discussed with my staff who is best suited to lead Argentina going forward and Pablo kept being mentioned," said Ledesma. "Pablo is a new voice and the best leader to take us where we want to go. He transmits his energy and intensity very well to the rest of the team.
"This is a good time for him to take the leadership role. He has already won 55 caps and is at the right age. "He reminds me of several captains that I knew, including Michael Hooper of Australia, in the way he has grown as a player."
Ledesma also lavished praise on 33-year-old Creevy, who is widely considered to be among the best hookers in the world.
"In no way is the change of captaincy a suggestion that Agustín failed. He has been a great leader and I thank him for the support he has given Pablo. He will play a key role going forward, helping the new skipper settle in and offering valuable advice.
"My promotion to captain of the national team caught me by surprise," he admitted before the 31-man squad left Argentina for Ireland. "I am understandably nervous and the presence of Agustín has been a great comfort. I am happy for the opportunity and the challenge of leading the Pumas."
His first challenge could hardly be tougher with Ireland ranked behind only three-time world champions New Zealand.
The Irish demonstrated their strength in depth by resting a number of key players at the weekend and still hammering Italy 54-7 in a one-off Test in Chicago.
Other exciting backline players include full-back Emiliano Boffelli and wingers Bautista Delguy and Ramiro Moyano.
The major problem for the pack has been the scrums, with some back-pedalling at the set-piece humiliating for a country with a history of great scrummagers like Ledesma.
Factfile for the November/December tour of Europe
Ireland v Argentina - November 10, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
France v Argentina - November 17 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille.
Scotland v Argentina - November 24 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.
Barbarians v Argentina - December 1 at Twickenham, London.
Matías Alemanno, Rodrigo Bruni, Agustín Creevy, Santiago Santiago Garcia Botta, Santiago Grondona, Marcos Kremer, Tomás Lavanini, Tomás Lezana, Pablo Matera (captain), Santiago Medrano, Julian Montoya, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti, Lucio Sordoni, Mayco Vivas, Juan Pablo Zeiss.
Gonzalo Bertranou, Emiliano Boffelli, Sebastián Cancelliere, Santiago Carreras, Tomás Cubelli, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Bautista Delguy, Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, Bautista Ezcurra, Martín Landajo, Juan Cruz Mallia, Matías Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Orlando, Nicolás Sánchez.