Three changes for Pumas as Ireland get injury boost

ON a day when several of Ireland’s injury problems cleared up, Argentina named their team for battle at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday two days earlier than expected.

Coach Santiago Phelan made three changes to the team beaten by France in Montpellier last week as he seeks a second win on the November tour.

Phelan hopes the inclusion of Leicester wing Horcia Agulla, Biarritz centre Marcelo Bosch and Julio Farias Cabello (Tucuman) will provide the spark necessary to add Ireland as a second set of victims following their win over Italy .

But Ireland were boosted yesterday when forwards coach Gert Smal was able to announce that Gordon D’Arcy, Tommy Bowe and Stephen Ferris (calf injuries) along with David Wallace (Achilles strain) and Brian O’Driscoll (bruised shoulder) would all be in the mix when the team is announced on Friday.

“All of them are physically in shape and there was a lot of energy in that training session,” said Smal.

Meanwhile, Phelan has excluded Gonzalez Amorosino for Agulla, and Santiago Fernandez for Bosch, while Cabello replaces Miguel de Achaval and makes his full debut after coming off the bench last weekend.

While Cabello is inexperienced, there isn’t a hint of rawness in the front row where Rodrigo Ronceo, Mario Ledesma and Martin Scelzo have 170 caps between them.

Saturday will be a big day for Leinster’s new short term second row signing Mario Galarza who gets to win his fourth cap in a city where he will be living for the next three months.

It’s an even bigger occasion for Argentinean legend Felipe Contepomi. The former Leinster player, now with Toulon, captains the team in his 70th appearance for the Pumas.

Centre Gonzalo Tiesi believes the Pumas are on an upward curve despite their reversal a fortnight ago against France.

“Against Italy we won but on the pitch we saw an Argentine team that did not dominate much and played little with the ball.

“Against France we lost but played better rugby,” he said.

“Maybe today Ireland are a small step above us but we are confident we can have a good match.”

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