By Andrew Downie and Ramiro Scandolo
BUENOSAIRES (Reuters) – Ramiro Herrera and Bautista Ezcurra were called up by Argentina on Thursday as the South Americans made two changes to the side that will face New Zealand in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.
Herrera will be returning at prop, while Ezcurra will come in at centre to replace injured Ramiro Moyano, the Pumas said.
Matias Moroni will move to wing, with Ezcurra joining Jeronimo de la Fuente in the centre, the Pumas said in announcing the team via twitter.
Matias Orlando and Sebastian Cancelliere, who have both yet to play in this year’s Rugby Championship, return as replacements for Saturday’s game at Velez Sarsfield.
The Argentines will be looking for their first win against New Zealand in what will be the 28th encounter between the two sides.
New Zealand could clinch the championship with a win and a bonus point against a side ranked eight places below them in the world standings.
Nevertheless, the Pumas come into the match confident they can hand the All Blacks, beaten 36-34 by South Africa in their last outing, a second straight loss for the first time in seven years.
Until this year, the South Americans had never won two games in the same Rugby Championship season since joining in 2012. However, this year they have beaten both Australia and South Africa as they enjoy their best ever performance in the tournament.
The match in Velez Sarsfield is a 50,000 sell out.
Team: 15-Emiliano Boffelli, 14-Bautista Delguy, 13-Jeronimo De La Fuente, 12-Bautista Ezcurra, 11-Matias Moroni, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Gonzalo Bertranou, 8-Javier Ortega Desio, 7-Marcos Kremer, 6-Pablo Matera, 5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Guido Petti, 3-Ramiro Herrera, 2-Agustin Creevy, 1-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16-Julian Montoya, 17-Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18-Santiago Medrano, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21-Tomas Cubelli, 22-Matias Orlando, 23-Sebastian Cancelliere
(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Toby Davis)