Thursday 21 March 2019

Marcelo Bosch returns for Argentina in sole change from triumph over Ireland

Argentina’s Juan Imhoff dives over the line in celebration as he rounds off the victory against Ireland in fine style
Argentina’s Juan Imhoff dives over the line in celebration as he rounds off the victory against Ireland in fine style

Nick Purewal

Saracens centre Marcelo Bosch will start Argentina's World Cup semi-final against Australia on Sunday, restored after suspension.

Bosch slots in for Matias Moroni in head coach Daniel Hourcade's sole change from last weekend's 43-20 quarter-final victory over Ireland.

The 31-year-old was handed a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle against Namibia, missing the last-eight triumph over Joe Schmidt's Ireland in Cardiff last weekend.

Captain and hooker Agustin Creevy is fit to start the Twickenham showdown after leg trouble forced him out of the second-half against Ireland.

Creevy's potent scrummaging and sageful leadership will hand the Pumas a big boost for their second semi-final in eight years.

Gritty Saracens centre Bosch will add steel to Argentina's defensive line, while also offering another goal-kicking option, to back up metronomic fly-half Nicolas Sanchez.

Former Bordeaux and Toulon star Sanchez sits second on the World Cup points-scorer list with 74, just five points behind Scotland's Greig Laidlaw.

Creevy's presence alongside Leicester's big-scrummaging loosehead Marcos Ayerza is sure to trouble the Australians, who have lost their scrum anchor Scott Sio.

The Pumas will aim to exploit Sio's absence, given his replacement James Slipper does not boast the same kind of scrummaging reputation.

Argentina team to face Australia in Sunday's World Cup semi-final: J Tuculet, S Cordero, M Bosch, JM Hernandez, J Imhoff, N Sanchez, M Landajo, M Ayerza, A Creevy (capt), R Herrera, G Petti, T Lavanini, P Matera, JM Fernandez Lobbe, L Senatore. Replacements: J Montoya, L Noguera, J Figallo, M Alemanno, F Isa, T Cubelli, J De La Fuente, LG Amorosino.

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