18 Aug 2015

No surprises in Pumas World Cup squad

12:09 pm on 18 August 2015

The Argentina rugby coach Daniel Hourcade sprung no surprises when he named his squad of 31 players for next month's World Cup.

Argentina rugby coach Daniel Hourcade

Argentina rugby coach Daniel Hourcade Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It included five veterans of Argentina's third-place finish at the 2007 tournament in France, forwards Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon and Marcos Ayerza and backs Horacio Agulla and Juan Martin Hernandez.

Four of them, excluding Hernandez who was injured, also played at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand along with another seven players in the squad.

"Players got left out that didn't deserve it, it's unfair really but that's how it is," Hourcade told a news conference in Buenos Aires.

"They did everything we asked of them, a great effort and they gave their all. It is the hardest moment of all for a coach but we had to choose only 31 players.

"It's a balanced list with 17 forwards and 14 backs that gives us the possibility of having two teams and one more front row forward."

That 19 of the squad are going to their first World Cup might be seen as a disadvantage but they have come on in great strides thanks to Argentina's participation in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship since 2012, facing world powers New Zealand, Australia and South Africa regularly.

Veteran winger Gonzalo Camacho and forwards Manuel Carizza and Juan Pablo Orlandi, who all played a part in the championship this season, missed the cut.

Hourcade's team upset South Africa 37-25 in Durban eight days ago with their first ever victory over the Springboks securing third place in the championship for the first time after three wooden spoons.

South Africa gained revenge on Sunday, beating the Pumas 26-12 in Buenos Aires in the teams' last test before the World Cup.

Argentina, who warm up against Leicester Tigers on Sept. 5, face holders New Zealand in their Pool C opener at Wembley on September 20th. They also meet Georgia, Tonga and Namibia.

Forwards: Marcos Ayerza, Matias Diaz, Ramiro Herrera, Lucas Noguera, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (captain), Julian Montoya, Matias Alemanno, Mariano Galarza, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Facundo Isa, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Leonardo Senatore

Backs: Tomas Cubelli, Martin Landajo, Juan Martin Hernandez, Nicolas Sanchez, Marcelo Bosch, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Matias Moroni, Juan Pablo Socino, Horacio Agulla, Santiago Cordero, Juan Imhoff, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Joaquin Tuculet

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