Pumas recall Contepomi for Wales Test
CARDIFF - Argentina have recalled veteran centre Felipe Contepomi to their starting XV to play Wales in a one-off international at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The 35-year-old former Leinster playmaker, currently at Stade Francais, was not named in coach Santiago Phelan’s initial squad for this tour.
But he is set to win his 79th cap as part of an agreement between the Argentinian Rugby Union and French clubs allowing Marcelo Bosch to play for Biarritz this weekend after teams released Puma stars during an inaugural southern hemisphere Rugby Championship which cut across the European season.
Phelan’s team showed six changes and two positional switches from the side beaten 25-19 last time out by Australia in Rosario on October 7.
Partnering Contepomi in midfield will be former Harlequins and Stade Francais back Gonzalo Tiesi.
Meanwhile Juan Martin Hernandez was moved from fly-half to full-back, the position where he made his international reputation, with Bordeaux-Begles’ Nicolas Sanchez at outside-half.
Up front an eye injury has ruled out lock Patricio Albacete, with flanker Julio Farias Cabello slotting into the second row alongside Manuel Carizza and Leonardo Senatore going into the back row.
Up front, Leicester prop Marcos Ayerza replaces the retired Rodrigo Roncero at loosehead prop.
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe will captain the side from No 8 and is set to win his 50th cap when he takes the field at the Millennium on Saturday.
Juan Martin Hernandez; Gonzalo Camacho, Gonzalo Tiesi, Felipe Contepomi, Juan Jose Imhoff; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (capt), Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Leonardo Senatore; Julio Farias Cabello, Manuel Carizza; Juan Figallo, Eusebio Guinazu, Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Bruno Postiglioni, Juan Gomez, Tomas Vallejos, Tomas Leonardi, Nicolas Vergallo, Horacio Agulla, Joaquin Tuculet