Contepomi captains Pumas
Contepomi captains PumasSHARE
Veteran utility back Felipe Contepomi will captain the Pumas in the Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks in Soweto on Saturday.
Contepomi will lead Argentina in the No.12 jersey in place of regular captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, who has been ruled out with a calf injury.
Leonardo Senatore replaces Lobbe in the back row and is one of eight changes from the team beaten 6-27 by the Springboks in Cape Town at the same stage last year.
Contepomi, left wing Juan Imhoff, flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez and scrumhalf Martin Landajo have been drafted into the backline.
They replace Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Santiago Fernandez, Horacio Agulla and Nicolas Vergallo, who played for the Southern Kings in the Super Rugby tournament this season.
Senatore and flanks Pablo Matera and Juan Manuel Leguizamon form a fresh back row in place of Lobbe, Alvaro Galindo and Julio Farias Cabello.
Highly rated young tighthead prop Matias Diaz comes in for retired loosehead legend Rodrigo Roncero, who bade farewell after a home defeat by Australia last October.
Juan Figallo, who wore the No.3 blue and white shirt in Cape Town, switches to the other side of hooker Eusebio Guinazu to accommodate Diaz.
The Rugby Championship was expanded last season to include Argentina, who proved competitive apart from a 15-54 home hiding from world champions New Zealand.
The Pumas prepared for Saturday’s opening-round match by defeating the visiting New South Wales Barbarians 29-27 and 58-12 in a two-match series.
Argentina: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Felipe Contepomi (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Martin Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Matias Diaz, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Juan Figallo.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Julio Farias Cabello, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Fernandez, 23 Horacio Agulla.
Date: Saturday, August 17
Venue: Soccer City, Soweto
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), John Lacey (Ireland)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)