Argentina lose Contepomi for French clash

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James Mortimer     15 Nov 2012     Getty Images

Two of the three changes are injury enforced, with Felipe Contepomi and Juan Martin Hernandez out with injury.

Normally the absence of their two marquee playmakers would spell trouble for Argentina, but their impressive 26-12 win over Wales came without the guidence of their blue chip generals, and the quality of the Pumas squad means there are quality replacements ready.

Marcelo Bosch replaces the veteran Contepomi, whose knee ligament injury has ruled him out for the remainder of the year.

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino comes in to cover for Hernandez, whose leg injury is expected to clear in time for the playmaker to face Ireland in Dublin on November 24.

The only other change sees strike wing Gonzalo Camacho swapped for Horacio Agulla.

Up front there are no changes, with captain and last week's man of the match Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe playing his 51st international, and his presence will be crucial against a French pack that bullied the Wallabies last weekend.

While Wales were accounted for last week in the upset of the November internationals so far, coach Santiago Phelan said that the result hasn't confirmed Argentina's status as one of the big guns of world rugby yet.

"We still have a lot to prove and we are ready to face one of the best teams in the world," Phelan said.

"I have a great respect for France and their victory over Australia did not surprise me. We played at a very high level against Wales, with a lot of intensity. We will have to perform the same on Saturday."

Winger Juan Imhoff said Argentina's record against France, with eight wins in their last 12 matches, came due to the fact that a lot of Argentine players knew how the French players went about their business.

"We often beat France because a lot of Argentina's players have been playing here," he said.

"I know them very well and I am able to foresee their moves. France do not have any weaknesses but we can beat them if we trust ourselves."

Argentina: 15-Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14-Horacio Agulla, 13-Gonzalo Tiesi, 12-Marcelo Bosch, 11-Juan Imhoff, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Martin Landajo, 8-Leonardo Senatore, 7-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6-Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 5-Julio Farias Cabello, 4-Manuel Carizza, 3-Juan Figallo, 2-Eusebio Guinazu, 1-Marcos Ayerza. Replacements: 16-Agustin Creevy, 17-Nahuel Lobo, 18-Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19-Tomas Vallejos, 20-Tomas De la Vega, 21-Tomas Cubelli, 22-Gonzalo Camacho, 23-Joaquin Tuculet.