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Pumas unveil squad for Rugby Championship

Updated: Sunday, 03 Aug 2014 17:29 | Comments

Argentina captain Agustin Creevy in action for his club Worcester
Argentina captain Agustin Creevy in action for his club Worcester

A fresh-looking Argentina will leave for South Africa on Wednesday for their August 16 Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks in Pretoria under new coach Daniel Hourcade and led by a new captain in hooker Agustin Creevy.
              
Hourcade, who took charge last November, right after the last Rugby Championship in which the Pumas lost all six of their matches, has dispensed with all but a handful of the 2007 World Cup semi-finalists and many of the 2011 quarter-finalists.
              
He named a 26-man tour party on Saturday that, a few hardened veterans apart, has emerged from the Pampas XV that played in South Africa's Vodacom Cup for several seasons and won this year's Pacific Rugby Cup in Australia.
              
Only 12 of the squad play their club rugby in England or France, including former captains Juan Fernandez Lobbe and Juan Manuel Leguizamon, a big change from previous seasons when the majority were based abroad.
              
The Pumas are still looking for their first win after 12 Championship matches, their best result being a draw with South Africa in Mendoza in their debut season two years ago.
              
Hourcade has said all along that his chief and realistic goal in his early years in the job is to build a team for next year's World Cup in England.
              
"Playing against South Africa as visitors will be tough, but the key will be to not let them be comfortable, tackle low and not let them play...I have a lot of confidence in the team," Hourcade told reporters.
              
His optimism was echoed by Argentina's new captain.
              
"I'm aiming for the team to play the best possible rugby to keep growing as a team ahead of the World Cup next year. We'll always go out to win," Creevy added after Argentina beat French club Grenoble 56-22 in a warm-up in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
              
Argentina squad for 2014 Rugby Championship:

Backs: Joaquin Tuculet,  Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Manuel Montero, Horacio Agulla, Juan Imhoff, Marcelo Bosch, Nicolas Sanchez, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Juan Martin Hernandez, Martin Landajo, Tomas Cubelli.
              
Forwards:
Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Leonardo Senatore, Rodrigo Baez, Tomas Lavanini, Mariano Galarza, Matias Alemanno, Marcos Ayerza, Ramiro Herrera, Lucas Noguera Paz, Bruno Postiglioni, Nuhuel Tetaz Chaparro, Matias Cortese, Agustin Creevy (captain).

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