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Pumas looking to keep intact unbeaten home record against Scotland

Pumas looking to keep intact unbeaten home record against Scotland

World Cup coach Marcelo Loffreda lost his club job on Friday yet his legacy with Argentina should be enough to handle Scotland in the first rugby test at Rosario on Saturday.
Loffreda led the Pumas to a best-ever third-place finish at last year's World Cup and was rewarded with the head position at English powerhouse Leicester. Despite leading the Tigers to second in the Premiership, a season without a trophy sealed his fate.
The news disappointed the Pumas on the eve of their first match since the World Cup.
Despite injuries and commitments to French clubs, the Pumas will start 10 World Cup players led by midfielder Felipe Contepomi following the international retirement of Agustin Pichot.
"We are very happy to be back after eight months," Contepomi said this week. "We have a new era and I hope both the team and (new coach Santiago) Phelan do things well."
The Pumas feature one starting new cap, Italian-based hooker Alvaro Tejeda, and two more in the reserves in local players Santiago Fernandez and Alfredo Lalanne.
As well, the match marks the return of Bayonne winger Jose Maria Nunez Piossek, who missed the World Cup because of injury.
"We've played them quite a lot of times and the good thing is that we have some new tapes on Scotland to watch," Nunez Piossek said. "We know them one by one, but they don't know all of us. They just know we are a tough team to pass who will hammer them."
Scotland chose three to make their debut at Estadio Gigante de Arroyito; New Zealand-born lock Matt Mustchin and center Ben Cairns, both from Edinburgh, and Glasgow winger Thom Evans. Mustchin qualified for Scotland only just before the team's departure for Argentina.
Ten others started in Scotland's last match, a loss to Italy in March in the Six Nations, including fullback Chris Paterson, who will tie Scott Murray for the most Scotland caps with his 87th test. Murray had to pull out of the tour because of his French club commitments.
Paterson has converted his last 33 goalkicks but was modest about the feat.
"You have to be proud of what you have achieved but the moment to start dwelling on it is sometime in the future," he said.
"Records are not the finishing line. What I aim for on Saturday is to produce a performance where I have as a big an impact as possible in helping Scotland to win."
Scotland has never won in Argentina, and hasn't beaten the Pumas since 1990. They most recently met in the World Cup quarterfinals, where the Pumas won 19-13.
The second test will be in Buenos Aires next week.
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Lineups:
Argentina: Bernardo Stortoni, Jose Maria Nunez Piossek, Gonzalo Tiesi, Felipe Contepomi (captain), Tomas De Vedia, Federico Todeschini, Nicolas Vergallo; Marcos Ayerza, Alvaro Tejeda, Santiago Gonzalez Bonorino, Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, Esteban Lozada, Martin Durand, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon. Reserves: Pablo Gambarini, Juan Gomez, James Stuart, Alejandro Campos, Alfredo Lalanne, Santiago Fernandez, Hernan Senillosa.
Scotland: Chris Paterson, Simon Danielli, Ben Cairns, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans, Dan Parks, Mike Blair (captain); Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Matt Mustchin, Scott MacLeod, Alasdair Strokosch, Johnnie Beattie, Allister Hogg. Reserves: Dougie Hall, Alasdair Dickinson, Alastair Kellock, Kelly Brown, Rory Lawson, Phil Godman, Simon Webster.


Updated : 2021-03-09 13:37 GMT+08:00