Jump to main content
Pivac relishing visit of Los Pumas

Pivac relishing visit of Los Pumas

Wayne Pivac

Wales boss Wayne Pivac is relishing the visit of Argentina following their surprise victory over England on the opening weekend of the Autumn Nations Series.

Los Pumas claimed a first victory against England at Twickenham since 2006, and only their second-ever, to add another notch in a fine 2022 for Michael Cheika’s side.

Argentina also recorded their first-ever win in New Zealand and beat Scotland in a Test series over the summer, with the South Americans hitting good form with the Rugby World Cup a year out.

A trip to Principality Stadium now beckons on Saturday, against a Wales side looking to bounce back from a 55-23 defeat to New Zealand in Round 1.

It will be another tough test for Pivac’s charges but the Kiwi is excited about the prospect of a big clash in Cardiff.

“We saw last week what Argentina are capable of,” said Pivac. “They’re a very big team, very strong up front.

Google Ad – 300×250

“They have expanded their attacking game and they took an excellent try against England from the set play.

“They’ve knocked over some big scalps in the last 18 months, New Zealand being one of them.

“They are going to be a big challenge but one we’re looking forward to. After last week’s performance we need a reaction from our team.”

Alex Cuthbert and Dan Lydiate all make their way into the starting XV for the visit of Los Pumas but one of the main changes will be Louis Rees-Zammit lining up at full-back.

The speedster is usually found out on the wing for both Wales and club side Gloucester, where he has notched eight tries in just 17 Test caps.

But Gareth Anscombe’s move to fly-half in place of Rhys Priestland has seen Rees-Zammit shifted inside, and Pivac is excited to see how the 21-year-old does in a new role.

“Last week we had Leigh Halfpenny unavailable at the last minute and we’d trained a certain way so we went with Gareth Anscombe at full-back who’s done that before at this level,” added Pivac.

“We’re back to Gareth at 10 and we have Louis Rees-Zammit at full-back. He’s trained there the entire week.

“He’s looked good in training and it’s something we’ve explored in the background, so it will be good information going forwards with the Six Nations around the corner and the Rugby World Cup.”

Opponents Argentina are unchanged for their visit to the Welsh capital, with Twickenham hero Emiliano Boffelli starting from the wing and Santiago Carreras anchoring from 10.

Manager Cheika insists the hosts are the favourites despite his side’s good form and has encouraged his players to embrace the hostile reception.

“When you come away from home in rugby, you are always the underdog,” said Cheika.

“When you walk out on to the Principality Stadium and there are however many thousands of Welsh people there, supporting their team, you are the underdog.

“Honestly, I don’t see anyone coming to Cardiff as favourites. It’s such a difficult place to come to in that atmosphere.

“You’ve got to be so good on game day to be in the contest. We know we will be in the minority, but that challenge of playing in the big theatres when you are the opposition is a really enjoyable one.

“You have got to get the thrill of being the enemy on the day and embrace it.”

Previous Story Smart Ball demonstrates Argentina’s kicking success in Autumn Nations Series
Next Story Autumn Nations Series Predictor: Round 2

More News

Try of the Series

Vote for the Autumn Nations Series Try of the Series

2nd Dec 2022
Smart ball insights autumn

Smart Ball insights from the Autumn Nations Series

2nd Dec 2022
Pivac relishing visit of Los Pumas

Team of the Autumn Nations Series revealed

1st Dec 2022