Argentina demotes star Sanchez for second Springboks test

ELIZABETH – Argentina star Nicolas Sanchez was relegated to the bench for a Rugby Championship second round match in South Africa on Saturday.

The Stade Français opener is one of six Pumas demoted from the starting XV last weekend when they lost 32-12 to the Springboks in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), where the second game will also be played.

Sanchez has contributed 40 of 89 points Argentina scored in testing against Romania, Wales (two) and South Africa this year thanks to 10 penalties and five conversions.

Argentina’s 12 points against South Africa at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Saturday were scored by Sanchez on four penalties.

His place goes to Domingo Miotti, who forms a new half-back partnership with Gonzalo Bertranou in a starting squad with six people and two position changes.

Sanchez and demoted scrum-half Felipe Ezcurra are among eight substitutes named by coach Mario Ledesma, a former Pumas hooker.

Juan Cruz Mallia replaces Santiago Carreras, who switches to the left wing in place of Matias Morini, and Ignacio Mendy replaces Bautista Delguy on the right wing.

Among forwards, flanker Facundo Isa and lock Marcos Kremer are demoted and locks Matias Alemanno and Tomas Lavanini are promoted.

To accommodate the new second row, Guido Petti is moved from there to the back row, while a front row that includes hooker and captain Julian Montoya remains intact.

Argentina are playing both games against the Springboks behind closed doors in the coastal city of the Eastern Cape due to the coronavirus pandemic situation in the South American nation.

Team (15-1)

Juan Cruz Mallia; Ignacio Mendy, Santiago Chocobares, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Santiago Carreras; Domingo Miotti, Gonzalo Bertranou; Rodrigo Bruni, Guido Petti, Pablo Matera; Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno; Francisco Gomez Kodela, Julian Montoya (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Substitutes: Facundo Bosch, Facundo Gigena, Santiago Medrano, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Felipe Ezcurra, Nicolas Sanchez, Lucio Cinti

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