All Blacks to blood new talents against Argentina
August 26, 2018 6:02 pm
The All Blacks are expected to stick to their strategic plan of giving some of their less experienced players an opportunity to start against Argentina in their next Rugby Championship match even though the Pumas are coming off a win over the Springboks.
Steve Hansen’s team beat Australia 40-12 at Eden Park on Saturday to sew up the Bledisloe Cup with a game to spare, while Mario Ledesma’s Pumas upset South Africa 32-19 later in the day to record a rare victory in the southern hemisphere competition.
Hansen had indicated prior to the tournament that his long-term goal was to develop experience this year as a means of bedding down tactics to take through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
That planning is likely to see players such as first five-eighth Richie Mo’unga, who has just one cap off the bench, and uncapped halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi getting the nod in Nelson on September 8.
Loose forwards Shannon Frizell and Jackson Hemopo could also make the 23-man squad for the clash against the Pumas, who in recent years have often been competitive for 60 minutes before falling away in the final quarter.
Under Ledesma, the Jaguares — which is essentially the national side — advanced to the Super Rugby playoffs for the first time this year and the players have appeared eager to adapt to a more free-flowing game plan.