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Rugby - Pumas change halfbacks and four in pack against Springboks

(Reuters) - Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has changed half his pack and the pair of halfbacks for their Rugby Championship test against South Africa in Salta on Saturday.

The Pumas will be looking for a second successive home win against the Springboks to avenge a 37-15 defeat in their tournament opener in Port Elizabeth last weekend.

Veteran Juan Martin Hernandez takes over the flyhalf position from Nicolas Sanchez and he will be partnered by Tomas Cubelli, who comes in for Martin Landajo.

Hourcade identified weaknesses in the scrum in Saturday’s defeat, in which the Pumas were starved of possession, and has made four changes, two due to injuries to prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and number eight Leonardo Senatore.

Senatore injured a ligament in his left knee and is out for two to three weeks, Pumas doctor Guillermo Botta said, while Tetaz Chaparro also remained in Buenos Aires after suffering concussion in the match in Port Elizabeth.

Lucas Noguera Paz replaces Tetaz Chaparro while there is another change in the front row with the more experienced Ramiro Herrera coming in for Enrique Pieretto.

In the second row, Guido Petti makes way for Matias Alemanno while veteran Juan Manuel Leguizamon replaces Senatore in the back row.

“(The Springboks) had more of the ball and we defended which wore us down,” wing Ramiro Moyano told the team website (www.lospumas.com.ar). “We’ve been focussing (our practices) on our mistakes in defence and ball control.”

Team: 15-Joaquin Tuculet, 14-Ramiro Moyano, 13-Matias Orlando, 12-Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11-Emiliano Boffelli, 10-Juan Martin Hernandez, 9-Tomas Cubelli, 8-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7-Tomas Lezana, 6-Pablo Matera, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Matias Alemanno, 3-Ramiro Herrera, 2-Agustin Creevy (captain), 1-Lucas Noguera Paz

Replacements: 16-Julian Montoya, 17-Santiago Garcia Botta, 18-Enrique Pieretto, 19-Marcos Kremer, 20-Javier Ortega Desio, 21-Martin Landajo, 22-Nicolas Sanchez, 23-Matias Moroni.

(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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