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Cheika makes significant changes to Argentina team ahead of Springbok clash

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Argentina’s Los Pumas wing Emiliano Boffelli (L) celebrates with teammates wing Juan Imhoff (C) and fullback Juan Cruz Mallia after scoring a try against Australia’s Wallabies during their Rugby Championship match at Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina on August 13, 2022. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP)

Michael Cheika has made no fewer than five changes to Argentina’s starting lineup for Saturday’s potential Rugby Championship decider against the Springboks at Ellis Park.

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While Argentina doesn’t have a realistic shot at the title, the Pumas will out to topple the Springboks to avoid the wooden spoon. They’ve finished last nine times since the inception of the Rugby Championship in 2012 and have done so consecutively for the past six years.

And in an attempt to break that unwanted streak, Cheika has rung the changes to the Los Pumas starting XV that beat Australia in Sydney less than two weeks ago.

ALSO READ: Banyana coach Ellis ready for must-win clash versus Argentina


Centre Santiago Chocobares, lock Lucas Paulos, scrumhalf Lautaro Bazan Velez, wing Juan Imhoff and fullback Juan Cruz Mallía have all been fast-tracked into run-on team.

Among the substitutes, Ignacio Ruiz, Joel Sclavi, Facundo Isa and Tomas Albornoz will all make their first appearance in 2023.

Veteran hooker AugustÍn Creevy has not been selected to feature against the Springboks, in order to allow him to play his 100th Test match on home soil next week when Argentina host South Africa in a Rugby World Cup warm-up in Buenos Aires.

Creevy will become the Pumas’ first-ever Test centurion.

ALSO READ: Springboks revamp squad for Argentina showdown


Argentina – 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Mateo Carreras, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 8 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Santiago Grondona, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Lucas Paulos, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (c) 1 Thomas Gallo.
Subs: 16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro,18  Joel Sclavi, 19 Pedro Rubiolo, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Matias Moroni.

Argentina team to play Springboks in July 2023
The Argentina team to play against the Springboks. Photo: @LosPumas via Twitter.

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