Tomás Lezana has been ruled out of facing Italy and Ireland. Having started at no 8 against England on Saturday the Santiago del Estero forward will play no further part in Argentina’s ongoing November tour.
Lezana is to return home to Argentina for personal reasons. In his absence Daniel Hourcade will need to make changes. In training on Monday in Florence, Italy Benjamín Macome trained as the starting no 8.
Hourcade has a deep roster covering both no 8 and the back-row in general. Pablo Matera and Marcos Kremer joined Lezana in starting against England. Both Leonardo Senatore and Benjamín Macome were replacements.
Also on the roster are Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Javier Ortega Desio and newcomer Rodrigo Bruni. Of them Leguizampon has vast experience playing no 8 while Bruni is in the roster after being a stand-out performer for the Argentina XV.
With Argentina requiring nothing less than a victory in Florence Hourcade has a decision to make in quick time. In the 2013 test away to Italy he started Macome at the back of the scrum. Will this be repeated?
Or is now the time to select boldly. Leguizamón has had plenty of matches in 2017 though has not been the force of the past. Should Bruni be given an opportunity ahead of him?
Kremer and Matera were stand-outs from the Pumas performance against England. Does this mean Ortega Desio will have to sit-out the match again?
These questions and more are to be addressed in today’s training sessions. Wednesday will be the traditional free-day for Los Pumas. Hourcade will then announce his side to face Italy on Thursday.