The race to another title continues for the Argentina XV when they take on Samoa ‘A’ in the second round of the Americas Pacific Challenge on Wednesday. After what must have felt like a training run against Canada ‘A’, the South Americans will be expecting a stern challenge from the Pacific Islanders. Samoa also found victory in their first match after defeating the USA Select XV without too much difficulty though their fitness looked questionable at times.
Argentina have retained only five players in the run-on side with opportunities handed to every player who did not appear against the Canadians. Franco Brarda, Axel Zapata, and Benjamín Espinal will start in front of second rows Diego Galetto and Ignacio Larrague. Tomás de la Vega is on the side of the scrum and Rodrigo Bruni is at his preferred position of No 8.
Gonzalo Bertranou will have to be at his best to upstage Sebastián Cancelliere’s effort at scrumhalf, with the latter shifting to the wing to make room. The depth of the squad is crystal clear with a classy midfield duo named in Juan Cappiello and Santiago Álvarez.
The Samoans have taken the opposite approach, with the only change to the starting lineup coming in the midfield. Kaino Thomsen drops out of the match day squad and is replaced by Leia Saofaiga with Tagaloa Fonoti bumping in one spot. Only one further alteration is made to the match day roster with Taimua Malielegaoi taking the place of Iafeta Purcell as cover for the outside backs on the bench.
Kickoff is set for 2:00pm local time, 1:00pm Eastern. A live stream will be provided by World Rugby.
1 Franco Brarda, 2 Axel Zapata, 3 Benjamín Espinal, 4 Diego Galetto, 5 Ignacio Larrague, 6 Tomás de la Vega, 7 Lautaro Bavaro (capt.), 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 10 Juan Cruz González, 11 Germán Schulz, 12 Juan Cappiello, 13 Santiago Álvarez, 14 Sebastián Cancelliere, 15 Bautista Delguy
Replacements: 16 Gaspar Baldunciel, 17 Roberto Tejerizo, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Juan Cruz Guillemaín, 20 Santiago Portillo, 21 Santiago Mare, 22 Juan Cruz Mallía, 23 Rodrigo Etchart
1 Rodney Tapu, 2 Noel Sanft, 3 Tiamu Viliamu, 4 Ikifusi Matamu, 5 Aukusitino Ulugia, 6 Mikaele Tapili, 7 Joseph Fuimaono, 8 Suamalie Tuiletufuga (capt.), 9 Ionatana Tino, 10 Aukuso Fruean, 11 La’aloi Leilua, 12 Tagaloa Fonoti, 13 Leia Saofaiga, 14 Elisapeta Alofipo, 15 Paulo Scanlan
Replacements: 16 Ripine Fualau, 17 Tuaniu Tuaniu, 18 Setu Enoka, 19 Lester Sefo, 20 Fili Setu, 21 Melani Matavao, 22 Ricky Pauli Ene, 23 Taimua Malielegaoi