De la Fuente takes over Argentina captaincy

Jeronimo de la Fuente will lead an overhauled Argentina side to face the Wallabies in the final Test of the Tri-Nations in Sydney on Saturday.

De la Fuente has taken over the captaincy from Pablo Matera, who together with Guido Petti and Santiago Socino, were stood down after a series of xenophobic tweets made between 2011 and 2013 surfaced this week.

As expected, all three of Matera, Petti and Socino will miss Saturday’s match.

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has made a total of 11 personnel and positional changes to the starting lineup, with De la Fuente and halfbacks Nicolas Sanchez and Filipe Ezcurra the only three backline players to stay as they were from last weekend’s loss to the All Blacks.

Santiago Carreras will start at fullback, causing Emiliano Boffelli to shift to the wing, with Santiago Cordero and Ramiro Moyano left out of the match-day 23 entirely. Bautista Delguy has returned to the starting lineup to replace Moyano at right wing.

Meanwhile, Matias Orlando will partner De le Fuente in Argentina’s midfield.

There are a further seven changes to the pack, as Ledesma has fielded a new-look back row and second row. Matera’s place at openside flank has been taken by Santiago Grondona, who is joined in the loose trio by No 8 Rodrigo Bruni and blindside flank Facundo Isa.

Marcos Kremer has shifted from blindside flank to No 5 lock and forms the second row with Matias Alemanno, who has replaced Petti.

In the final two changes, tighthead Francisco Gomez Kodela and loosehead Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro start in place of Santiago Medrano and Mayco Vivas, respectively.

Argentina – 15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Facundo Isa, 6 Santiago Grondona, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Subs: 16 Jose Luis Gonzalez, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Santiago Chocobares.

Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images