Creevy to skipper Pumas against S Africa

Hooker Agustin Creevy will lead Argentina in his 50th Test when the Pumas open The Rugby Championship away to South Africa in Nelspruit on Saturday.

Argentina will be looking for a second victory in 23 meetings with the Springboks and the first since they won in Durban in last year’s championship.

“He must go out and enjoy (his 50th cap), he deserves it,” coach Daniel Hourcade said.

“It’s a dream to be able to play 50 times for the Pumas and let’s hope he plays 50 more.”

The Pumas side named on Thursday by Hourcade has eight changes from the team that beat South Africa for the first time, with three having retired after last year’s World Cup in England.

There are five changes from the Argentina side beaten 27-0 by France in a June test series they shared 1-1.

But the Pumas are confident that a first season of Super Rugby this year, when most of them played for the new Jaguares team, will have strengthened them for their fifth Rugby Championship.

“This is a fresh start, there were a lot of (unfavourable) circumstances in June that bear no relation to the present, despite the short time that has elapsed,” Hourcade told the Argentine Rugby Union website.

“There was the fatigue from Super Rugby, and preparing a team to play northern hemisphere sides is totally different from southern hemisphere rivals.

“We’ve had to change our chip, and a rest has also done the players good.”

Outside centre Matias Orlando will make his championship debut standing in for Matias Moroni, who played for the Pumas sevens team at the Rio Olympic Games. Moroni’s more likely replacement, Jeronimo de la Fuente, is sidelined by a leg injury.

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