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Argentina Rugby

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SpringboksThe Junior Springboks clinched their 2 match international rugby series 2 – 0 against Argentina Under 20 after beating Los Pumitas 39 / 28 in Rosario on Saturday, with prop Jan van der Merwe helping himself to a hat-trick of tries in the 1st half.

The 2 teams used the series as final warm-up exercise for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy next month.

On Saturday at the beautiful Club Gimnasia Stadium in Rosario, the Junior Boks raced into a commanding 25 / 6 halftime lead thanks to a trio of tries by front ranker Jan van der Merwe. Argentina struggled to match the visitors’ powerful forward surges and could only reply with 2 penalties.

The South Africans scored 2 more tries in the 2nd half through Leolin Zas (wing) and Joseph Dweba (replacement hooker). However, they had to show great determination on defence against Los Pumitas, who stormed back with 3 tries in the 2nd stanza.

Captain and No 8, Hanro Liebenberg, led with example with ball in hand and also did sterling work on defence. The Junior Boks dominated the scrums, were supreme in the lineouts and mauled powerfully which resulted in 3 tries.

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SpringboksJunior Springbok coach Dawie Theron has shuffled his match-23 for the 2nd international rugby friendly against Argentina Under 20 (Los Pumitas) this coming Saturday in Rosario. The match will kick-off at 14:00 ARG Time (19:00 SA Time).

The young South Africans won the 1st meeting between the 2 sides 25 / 22 on Tuesday in Santa Fe. Both teams are using the 2-match series as their final warm-up for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship which will be hosted by Italy in June.

Theron elected to retain only a number of players from the starting 15 which managed to edge Los Pumitas, while he opted also for 2 positional changes.

Tighthead prop Thomas du Toit, Jason Jenkins (lock), Leolin Zas (left wing), Daniel du Plessis (inside centre) and JT Jackson (outside centre) will all start in their 2nd tour match. N0 8 Dan du Preez and right wing Grant Hermanus will however run out in different positions.

Du Preez moves to flank while Hermanus will wear the No 15 jersey. Fullback Warrick Gelant and prop Frans van Wyk were not considered for selection because of shoulder injuries.

Hanro Liebenberg of the Vodacom Blue Bulls returns to the starting line-up at the back of the scrum and will also take over the captaincy from Rikus Bothma (DHL Western Province) who led the side in Santa Fe. Liebenberg sat out the 1st tour match as precaution for his troubled hand.

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SpringboksThe Junior Springboks were made to fight hard to overcome a courageous Argentina Under 20 rugby team by 25 / 22 in the 1st of 2 matches between the sides late on Tuesday in Santa Fe, Argentina.

Los Pumitas led 15 / 10 at halftime after they dominated possession and territory while playing with a strong wind in their favour in the 1st half. They scored 2 tries and a penalty to take a deserved lead, while the Junior Springboks answered with a converted try and a penalty to stay within distance despite their many unforced errors.

The young South Africans used their dominance in the scrums and set pieces to much better effect in the 2nd half, adding a penalty and an excellent try to edge out the hosts in front of a passionate crowd.

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RG Snyman

RG Snyman

Blue Bulls lock RG Snyman was withdrawn from the Junior Springbok touring squad to Argentina due to an ankle ligament injury.

The big lock hurt his ankle during a training session in Stellenbosch and will be out of action for 2 to 4 weeks.

Loose forward Rikus Bothma, the former SA Schools captain and skipper of last year’s Western Province Under 19 team, has been named as his replacement.

Snyman will continue with his rehabilitation until Friday and will return to the camp when the squad reassembles after the tour. He will undergo a fitness test on his return.

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SpringboksSARU has confirmed the 28-man Junior Springbok squad for a 2-match series against Argentina Under 20 in Rosario next month.

The squad will be led by Vodacom Bulls No 8 Hanro Liebenberg, who also captained the Junior Springboks last week in their match against the Varsity Cup Dream Team in Stellenbosch.

The Junior Springboks fly out to Argentina on 8 May and return 10 days later. They will play against their Argentine counterparts, on 12 and 16 May in Rosario.

A total of 17 forwards and 11 backs were selected for the trip. The short tour forms an important part of the Junior Springboks’ preparations for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in June in Italy.

According to Dawie Theron, the Junior Springbok coach, the tour against the Los Pumitas will give his squad important playing time against strong opposition.

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Nicolás Sánchez

Nicolás Sánchez

Pumas flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez is the latest player to sign with the Argentina Rugby Union ahead of their entry into Super Rugby next year.

The 26-year-old former Bordeaux Begles and Toulon playmaker has signed a 3-year contract starting on 1 January and making him available until at least the end of 2018.

The deal was sealed at Sánchez’s current club, Tucuman Lawn Tennis Club, which is celebrating it’s centenary year.

Sánchez joins fellow Pumas Joaquín Tuculet and Agustín Creevy in committing to their national union despite having enjoyed successful and lucrative stints in Europe.

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Joaquín Tuculet

Joaquín Tuculet

Cardiff Blues fullback, Joaquín Tuculet, has confirmed that he will return home to Argentina to represent his country’s Super Rugby team from 2016.

Tuculet joins his national captain, Agustin Creevy, as the 1st European-based players to commit to the new team and has signed through until at least the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

“It is with great pride that I have decided to commit to this project by the UAR and Daniel Hourcade,” he said.

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Agustine Creevy

Agustine Creevy

Pumas captain, Agustín Creevy, has become the 1st player based outside of Argentina to commit to the country’s Super Rugby franchise which will join the competition next year.

Creevy, 30, currently plays for Worcester in the United Kingdom but has signalled his intention to return home and play for the new franchise, bringing the number of contracted players to 22.

Making the announcement via videoconference on Monday evening, Creevy said, “It makes me very happy to confirm this agreement with the UAR. It’s a big step. I have played for Argentina from a young age and was always proud to defend the Argentina shirt. I never hesitated to go back home.

“This is a very important year. The World Cup is the main aim for this 2015, but then comes the moment to join Super Rugby which is a historic dream for everyone.”

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Nicolás Sánchez

Nicolás Sánchez

Argentina flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez has left European champions Toulon to get ready for his wedding in May and to prepare for the World Cup.

Sanchez joined the French and European champions in October as an injury replacement for Frederic Michalak.

But after the latter returned to action on Saturday in the 34 / 24 defeat at home to Toulouse, Sanchez was no longer available for Top 14 action.

He could have continued to turn out for Toulon in the European Cup – the champions hosts Wasps in the quarterfinals next weekend – but he said he preferred to return home.

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Ireland’s victory over England in the Six Nations means they are once again the leading northern hemisphere nation in the latest World Rankings.

Ireland reclaimed the mantle after a 19 / 9 victory, in the battle of the unbeaten sides in Dublin on Sunday.

The victory turns what was a 0.17 rating point deficit into a 1.27 cushion for Ireland over the 2015 World Cup hosts. Joe Schmidt’s side are now less than 2 rating points behind South Africa in 2nd spot.

Wales have increased their margin over France to almost 4 points after a 20 / 13 victory over Les Bleus at the Stade de France on Saturday, although the margin was not enough to improve their position of 6th.

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World RugbyA strong second half saw Rugby World Cup 2015 hosts England storm back to beat Wales 21 / 16 in their Six Nations opener in Cardiff, a result which lifted them above Ireland back to 3rd in the latest World Rugby rankings.

According to the World Rugby (previously IRB), the victory sees England regain the mantle as the leading northern hemisphere nation in the rankings behind New Zealand and South Africa and they now sit 0.35 points above Ireland after their 26 / 3 victory over Italy in Rome had no impact due to the 11 places separating the teams.

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Tomas Cubelli

Tomas Cubelli

Pumas scrumhalf, Tomas Cubelli headlines a numer of players to commit to Argentina’s new Super Rugby franchise with Javier Ortega Desio, Thomas Lezana, Gabriel Ascarate and Matias Orlando also signing up.

The group all signed contracts until at least the end of the 2017 season following a Pampas XV training session in Rosario on Tuesday.

These players join Martin Landajo, Guido Petti Pagadizábal, Pablo Matera, Matías Alemanno, Rodrigo Baez, Jerome de la Fuente, Facundo Isa and Manuel Montero who have all committed for three years.

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Martín Landajo

Martín Landajo

Preparations are underway for Argentina’s entry to Super Rugby in 2016 with Martín Landajo and Guido Petti becoming the first players to commit to the Buenos Aires-based franchise.

The pair both currently play on home soil in Argentina’s domestic league, but will have their sights set on international provicinal competition when the new team comes into existence in a little over 12 months from now.

Both players and the UAR confirmed their signing via Twitter on Friday.

Landajo, a 26-year-old scrumhalf has 40 caps for Argentina while Petti, a 20-year-old lock has two to his name after debuting in a 20-18 victory over Italy in Genoa.

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BarbariansArgentinaThe Barbarians will round off their 125th anniversary year by tackling Argentina at Twickenham in November 2015, organisers announced on Tuesday.

After a chastening 2013, the invitational side proved themselves credible opponents for the world’s elite teams this year, going down 49-39 to a youthful England team in June and narrowly losing 40-36 to Australia last month.

They are scheduled to play Ireland in Limerick on 8 May and will play England three days later before finishing the year against Argentina.

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ArgentinaThe one time in Europe that Argentina strayed slightly away from their traditional strengths, they lost, engaging in an entertaining running contest with Scotland, but otherwise closed the year with a 3-1 record over their last four.

It means that Los Pumas finish the season with form behind only New Zealand and Ireland, defeating the Wallabies in Mendoza, before grinding down Italy and France on consecutive weekends to return to South America on a high.

Coach Daniel Hourcade has been superb and his feats have been lost somewhat when talking about the likes of Steve Hansen or Joe Schmidt.

Yet the former Pampas mentor has turned many local players into hardened Test regulars, further ridding Argentina of a heavy reliance on European based stars.

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Captains for the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament

Captains for the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament: Ed Jenkins, Osea Kolinisau, DJ Forbes & Kyle Brown

After climbing into the top four after two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Australia and New Zealand know it’s far too early to rest on their laurels with Olympic qualification also up for grabs this season.

As the 16 captains assemble for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, Australian skipper Ed Jenkins and his New Zealand counterpart DJ Forbes reflect on their respective team’s elevation to the all-important top four after the first two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

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Blitzbokke

HSBC Sevens World SeriesThe second last Tournament in the 2014 calendar year for the HSBC Sevens World Series of 2014 / 2015 is underway in Dubai.

The Emirates Dubai Sevens tournament is played over 2 Days, Friday 5 and Saturday 6 December 2014.

The last Tournament for the year is next weekend, in South Africa, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

On Day 1, the traditional Sevens big sides, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia have easily overcome their opponents in their first games.

Surprise results were Canada beating Wales by 19 / 14 and Scotland beating Samoa 21 / 14.

On Day 2 Fiji and New Zealand advanced to the 3rd place play-off and South Africa and Australia advanced to the Final.

South Africa’s Blitzbokke easily took the Final and the Dubai title by 33 / 7.

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End Of Year ToursOnce again the four Rugby Championship teams have been and gone but this time they did not have it all their own way on their annual visit to the British Isles as it ended five wins apiece from the 10 Tests.

Ireland beat both South Africa and Australia, Wales downed the former and England the latter, and Scotland defeated Argentina.

Admittedly, the Pumas are not part of rugby union’s traditional southern hemisphere big three, and the incomparable All Blacks sailed through their Tests unbeaten, but even discounting the Scottish win over Argentina the matches against the three giants from the south only ended 5-4 to the visitors.

Former England and Lions great Jeremy Guscott has been out and about  during November and here he selects a XV for both the home nations and the Rugby Championship sides.

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All BlacksReigning champions New Zealand remained the team to beat less than a year out from the World Cup in England after yet another successful November campaign in Europe.

There’s nothing new in the All Blacks being the yardstick for the global game and their rivals will take some comfort in knowing New Zealand have yet to win the World Cup on foreign soil.

So the fact they were pushed close by both England (24-21) and Wales (34-16) this month before emerging victorious won’t have done the All Blacks any harm, nor will the success of a virtual second-choice side in preserving their unbeaten record against Scotland.

However, all these matches demonstrated how no team goes for the full 80 minutes quite like New Zealand, who have enviable depth.

England found themselves needing two scores in the closing stages against the All Blacks and managed one while Wales conceded 24 points in the final 17 minutes.

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AustraliaAustralia have slipped another place to fifth in the latest World Rugby Rankings with France, Japan, Tonga, Canada and Namibia also falling after defeats.

Australia’s 26-23 loss to Ireland on Saturday has seen the Wallabies slip another place to fifth – equalling their lowest ever position since the World Rugby Rankings were introduced in October 2003.

The Wallabies headed into the match in Dublin sitting just one hundredth of a rating point above England, but will now travel to Twickenham to face Stuart Lancaster’s men this weekend behind two northern hemisphere nations with Ireland strengthening their hold on third place with the win.

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Gilbert Rugby BallOnly one more Internatonal Test to be played today, that between Georgia vs Japan at 17:00 SA Time and Georgian Time, the rest of the results are in already!

Some surprising results all around, with the Italian Azzurri holding the Springboks to a limited win, Ireland narrowly beating the Wallabies, Wales containing the All Blacks untill the 69th minute before letting in 3 quick tries and France falling to a spirited Argentinian Pumas side.

The rest of the results, well they are pure wall decorations, for want of a better expletive.

The Weekend’s International Results are as follows:

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Four International Tests overlapped or at least partly overlapped one another between 18:30 to almost midnight on Saturday 22 November 2014, SA Time.
Seeing as all 4 matches were broadcast LIVE on TV in South Africa… although on 2 different SuperSport channels, we hosted all FOUR in one GLOBAL ARTICLE!

 

IrelandAustraliaIreland (20) 26 / 23 (20) Wallabies (Final Score)

Ireland and the Australian Wallabies did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland at 18:30 SA Time (16:30 BST & GMT, 03:30 Sunday AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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WalesNew ZealandWales (3) 16 / 34 (3) All Blacks (Final Score)

Wales and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 BST & GMT, 06:30 Sunday NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 6 on TV in SA.

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EnglandSamoaEngland (13) 28 / 9 (6) Samoa (Final Score)

England and Samoa did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Twickenham, London, England at 21:00 SA Time (19:00 BST & GMT, 09:00 Sunday Samoa Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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FranceArgentinaFrance (3) 13 / 18 (15) Los Pumas (Final Score)

France and the Argentinian Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Stade de France, Paris, France at 22:00 SA Time (21:00 French Time, 20:00 GMT, 17:00 Arg Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 6 on TV in SA.

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FranceRising star Teddy Thomas has been sanctioned by French coach Philippe Saint-Andre for missing a training session, and has subsequently been dropped for Saturday’s Test against Argentina in Paris.

Thomas made a stunning debut against Fiji, becoming only the second Frenchman to score a hat trick of tries on his first appearance for Les Bleus adn followed that up by scoring his fourth International try in two matches against Australia a week later.

The 21-year-old earned a third straight call-up on Wednesday for the Test against the Pumas but the young Racing-Metro player forgot to attend training on Wednesday evening, along with the squad at the French national training centre at Marcoussis, outside Paris.

And Saint-Andre and his deputies, Yannick Bru and Patrice Lagisquet, decided to drop Thomas and called up Toulouse wing Maxime Medard, who has 40 caps for France, in his place.

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Agustín Creevy

Agustín Creevy

Nicolás Sánchez

Nicolás Sánchez

Argentinean head coach Daniel Hourcade has made four changes to his starting 15 for their final November Test against France in Paris on Saturday.

Nicolás Sánchez replaces Juan Martín Hernández at flyhalf which sees the latter move to inside centre.

Hernández will be partnered with Marcelo Bosch in the midfield after Bosch returned to the squad from doing club duties while Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino moves to the bench and is replaced by Juan Imhoff.

The only change in the forwards sees captain Agustin Creevy returning to the hooker position at the expense of Matias Cortese, who is relegated to the bench.

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Super Rugby

  • SANZAR Executive Committee formally approves Japan Rugby Football Union and Union Argentina de Rugby’s admission into Super Rugby from 2016
  • The Japanese team will be based at Tokyo’s Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium with three home games per season to be played at the Singapore Sports Hub
  • The Argentine and Japanese national teams are currently ranked 9th and 10th in the world respectively
  • There are nearly a quarter of a million rugby players in Japan and Argentina combined
  • Japan will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games

Super Rugby’s expansion to 18 teams from 2016 is officially complete with SANZAR formally confirming the participation of the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) and Union Argentina de Rugby (UAR) at an Executive Committee meeting in London today.

The confirmation is the final stage of formalities and paves the way for the Tokyo and Buenos Aires-based franchises to start contracting players and staff ahead of their historic entry to Super Rugby in a little over 12 months from now.

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Juan Imhoff

Juan Imhoff

Argentina lost their way following last month’s historic 21-17 victory over Australia in the Rugby Championship, wing Juan Imhoff admitted on Monday.

Since that first success in the Four Nations competition at the 18th attempt, Argentina have lost against Scotland (41-31) and narrowly beaten Italy (20-18) but they failed to produce the kind of performance that undid the Wallabies.

“We still don’t have sufficient maturity to climb the international ladder,” said the Racing-Metro wing.

“After Australia we lost our heads a bit. We thought we could beat Scotland because we’d beaten Australia.

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ItalyArgentinaAzzurri (12) 18 / 20 (10) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The Italian Azzurri and Argentinian Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genova, Italy at 18:15 SA Time (17:15 Italy Time, 16:15 GMT, 13:15 Arg Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport on TV in SA.

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Martin Castrogiovanni

Martin Castrogiovanni

Toulon prop Martin Castrogiovanni replaces Dario Chistolini in the only change for Italy as they look to follow up a 24-13 win over Samoa with a win against Argentina this weekend.

But Italy’s second game of their three-test November series, due to be played in Genoa on Saturday, is now hanging in the balance due to heavy flooding in the northern Italian city.

With storms and heavy rain predicted for Saturday, officials said Thursday they have moved the game earlier, to Friday 17:15 Italian Time (18:15 SA Time, 16:15 GMT).

Italy coach Jacques Brunel was forced to leave Castrogiovanni on the sidelines due to suspension last week as Zebre prop Chistolini claimed only his third cap for the Azzurri.

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Agustín Creevy

Agustín Creevy

Argentina will be without their captain Agustín Creevy for the clash with Italy after the hooker sustained a thigh injury.

After leaving the field after just 20 minutes in the Pumas 31-41 loss to Scotland on the weekend, it now looks set that the hooker will not recover in time.

Creevy, who took over the Argentinean captaincy this year, underwent medical tests where it was revealed that he had suffered a grade one tear of his thigh.

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Gilbert Rugby BallNine International Test matches as well as the cross-hemisphere club / provincial match between Saracens and DHL Western Province, took place this weekend.

Well, it was not a good weekend for South African interests in these games, as both the Springboks and Western Province were compprehensively beaten in the space of 2 days.

In addition South African neighbours, Namibia, probably put up the best fight amongst the Southern African sides, but still going down to Canada, by 17 / 13.

On Saturday the Springboks came tumbling down to earth after a few weeks ago beating the New Zealand All Blacks, when they fell havily against Ireland, by 29 / 15 and on Sunday the Currie Cup champions, DHL Western Province was outplayed and put to the sword by Saracens in Londen, badly beaten by 6 tries to 3 and a total score of 46 / 22.

It appears that the Northern Hemisphere rugby countries have all crept closer to the Southern Hemisphere rivals, as the Wallabies barely won against Wales and the All Blacks only scraped home against England by a measly 3 points.

Scotland beat Argentina and France romped over Fiji, whilst Italy beat Samoa.

 

The results of the weekend are as follows:

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ScotlandAhead of this match, head coach Vern Cotter asked his players to play with a smile on their collective face and the entire BT Murrayfield crowd was sporting one at the conclusion of the Kiwi coach’s home debut. His side saw off Argentina in a five-try romp and the manner in which they did so will create real belief in the Scotland camp and among their tartan-clad fans.

Scotland were cohesive, tough, inventive and played with pace throughout. The forwards produced quick ball and the Glasgow back line demonstrated that they could reproduce their club form at the next level. At times, the home side were inspirational. They rarely dropped below the efficient. All they lacked on occasion was the clinical finishing required or this match could have been over by half time.

Instead, it was six minutes into the second half before Scotland scored their fourth try, which finally killed off any hopes of an Argentine revival. The crowd was understandably wowed; what a pity the stadium wasn’t full.

The two Gray boys were a huge presence, grabbing a try each and, while it is insidious to separate them, Jonny was utterly outstanding, carrying the fight to the Pumas relentlessly and winning one important turnover.

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ArgentinaCentre Juan Martin Hernandez, who as flyhalf steered Argentina to third place at 2007 World Cup, is set to win his 50th Pumas cap against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Hernandez will again be at inside centre in a team with five changes from the side that gave Argentina their maiden southern hemisphere Rugby Championship victory, 21-17 over Australia in Mendoza a month ago.

Coach Daniel Hourcade has made two changes in the backs and three in the forwards having been deprived of several players through injury or illness.

Marcelo Bosch returns to partner Hernandez in midfield after being rested against the Wallabies and Manuel Montero comes in for Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino on the left wing.

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Jonny & Richie Gray

Jonny and big brother Richie Gray

Second-row brothers Richie and Jonny Gray will play their first international game of rugby together this Saturday, following their selection to start for Scotland against Argentina at BT Murrayfield Stadium (8 November, kick-off 17:30 BST & GMT, 19:30 SA Time).

Selection represents a second start for the younger Gray, 20, who will make his sixth appearance for his country alongside his 39-times capped, 25-year-old, British & Irish Lions sibling.

Gray is not the only promising young player to earn the right to start the nation’s opening viagogo Autumn Test, with 21-year-old Glasgow Warriors Mark Bennett and Adam Ashe set to make their first and second appearances at outside-centre and number 8 respectively.

An exciting package of pace and guile, Bennett – a product of St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock, Cumnock RFC and Ayr RFC – has been in fine form for the Warriors and Scotland 7s this year, and will be Scotland’s 1062nd capped internationalist when he crosses the paint for his debut at BT Murrayfeld.

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We have NEW SuperBru Pools for all to join!

The HSBC Sevens World Series of 2014 / 2015 starts this weekend on Saturday, so hurry up and do not delay to register for it, and after registering, make your picks for this weekend’s games!

The End Of Year Tours or November Internationals as it is also known is a few weeks away still, nevertheless register now, while the iron is hot!

As is usual, Rugby-Talk.com’s SuperBru Pools are open for ALL REGISTERED SUBSCRIBERS of Rugby-Talk.com, so if you are not yet registered here on Rugby-Talk.com, do so without delay!  It is so easy to register and such fun to discuss rugby here.

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ArgentinaDaniel Hourcade has worked wonders for Los Pumas so far, but the obvious progress seen throughout The Rugby Championship will need to continue if Argentina is to lay a marker in Europe.

After all, the Rugby World Cup will be played on the same soil next year, with the South Americans alongside the All Blacks in the same group.

The last time Los Pumas played the quadrennial tournament in the old continent, they defeated hosts France twice to finish third overall, an achievement that many believe was the genesis for their eventual inclusion into the South’s premier international competition.

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